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PHOTO: The Pistacho Tainted Truffle
This past week, I was tasked with a blind tasting of Tainted Truffles from Compassion Medicinal Edibles, which produces a variety of cannabis-infused edibles, or medibles. Besides the labeling which describes the type of the truffle or cookie, the only other particular I knew was the dosages. They came in two dosages; Regular (2 grams of cannabis) or Super Strength (approximately 9 grams of cannabis).
When it comes to the high art of the consumption of medibles, I have just a few personal requests. First, the infused bakery treat or medicinal candies better not taste like you’ve just swallowed a bale of green hay. Nothing is worse than biting into a brownie or cookie that tastes like it’s nothing but chlorophyll and algae with some sugar and flour thrown in as an afterthought.
Second, and almost very close to the first criterion, it should taste like a dessert or a form of food that you’d want to eat even if there wasn’t cannabis in it. But be careful, this has happened to me. I like ganja infused caramels. The brand I was munching on was so good, in a couple weeks time I couldn’t figure out why I had put on the extra poundage. I soon realized that the caramels I was taking to relieve pain in my back and as an alternative to smoking joints were not only medicinal, but fattening too. Pace yourself.
My point is, with the plethora of choices available to the average cannabis consumer in a medical state today, you don’t have to settle for shoddy products that do very little to elevate the cannabis edible experience. If you just want to get high and do not care about quality, find some shake and a tube of Betty Cocker’s. You could also make a pipe out of an old toilet paper roll if that’s your style.
Lastly, it better do what it’s supposed to do. To me, that means consistency. When I purchase said product, are the dosages consistent? Can I expect the same results from this medication each and every time like I would with an aspirin for a headache or Tylenol PM– extremes I take occasionally when it’s been a five-latte day.
Peanut butter isn’t my favorite kind of edible, so I started with the Peanut Butter Tainted Truffle. Right away I could tell the quality of this product was superior. It didn’t taste grassy or like I was free falling into a bottomless jar of Jif. It was smooth and not at all overbearing. And the high was like a carpet ride, stoned but not tripping.
Next, I experienced the Pistachio Tainted Truffle, the Double Chocolate Tainted Truffle and a French Tainted Truffle, all of them rivaling anything you’d find a in a gourmet shop. The other three flavors that I consumed had the same high standard as the other guys. You couldn’t help singing Willy Wonka songs after a while. Maybe that’s what happens when good chocolate and THC meet.
So as impressed I was with my tasting crusade, I had to find out who made these fine medibles. I asked my editor for the company’s name.
When she said the name of the business was Compassion Medicinal Edibles once infamously know as Tainted, you had to be impressed. No one would name their products Tainted Truffles, unless, you’re really that good. But still, when you’ve sunk your money, your life and the kid’s college fund into starting a new confectionary business in a highly competitive market that’s based on people putting your brand into their mouths, who names their products Tainted Truffles?
Meet the iconoclastic, one Michael Martin. A long time activist, Mickey, as he’s known to his parole officer, has been both in the forefront in the streets and behind the stove of the movement. I wondered how the author of Medical Marijuana 101, a vocal force in the fight for legalization of marijuana, a husband and father, had time to bake?
“The company basically started because we were getting edibles to patients that for a variety of reasons, couldn’t inhale or smoke marijuana for pain relief or for appetite stimulation, edibles were the solution. We never made money from it and we weren’t into it for a profit. It was all about the patients and legitimizing the use of cannabis foods.”
Then in 2007, the Feds raided Tainted Edibles Inc., and busted him for selling marijuana. Even though Tainted Inc. was legal under California law, Mr. Martin had been singled out, in my opinion, because he was an activist and like I said, he’s…um…vocal.
Mickey was facing possibly 10 years in prison. At the trial, customers (patients?) and patients (customers?)
passionately came forward, pleading in Mr. Martin’s defense. Many worried that without Mickey’s help, they didn’t know what they were going to do. How would they manage their pain and ailments? There just wasn’t enough safe access out there for everyone.
“I had legal battles, had to close the business. I was pretty sure I was going to jail. My wife and kids went through hell.”
What Mickey didn’t share about his courtroom experience was the speech he gave to the judge and to those who were present that day. Mr. Martin didn’t make the case for his company or his possible incarceration; he spoke about the Feds trying to undermine California law. He recanted tales of the patients he ministers to via his baked goods. By the time Mickey was done, the court was wet with tears.
Mr. Martin was put on probation and told never to touch marijuana again.
This brings us back to the Pistachio Tainted Truffle that tasted so good and makes Jack so high.
JACK RIKESS: If you’re not allowed to be around weed, how can Tainted Edibles be back in business?
MICKEY MARTIN: I started this business originally with my partner and friend, Jason Anderson. After all the legal bullshit was virtually over, Jason contracted cancer. Jason is young; it’s a freak tragic deal. He had three ribs removed and part of his lung. Jason, along with many, many others, needs cannabis for relief and to retain a certain quality of life. Jason is now the CEO of Tainted Edibles Inc. I’m just a consultant, if that.”
JR: Compassion, aka Tainted, delivers a fine product. I really like the medibles, they don’t taste like dough with weed thrown in.
MM: Jason employs 5 to 6 skilled craftspeople that make every truffle by hand. A lot of the big boys melt the chocolate into molds and pour it like melted steel. We take our time by layering our truffles individually, then, by hand, do the drizzles and dashes of cocoa or whatever topping we’re using. We have some of the top chefs and pastry artists composing our truffles. We’ll match our stuff up to any other major non-marijuana chocolate brand for quality and taste.
We state right on the package, the dosages, warnings and the medicinal properties of your chosen edible. We track all batches of medicine with lot numbers and date them for freshness. Our original goal back in 2000, when we started this, was to be better than the rest. We wanted to be the leaders of the edible scene that was growing at the time. We didn’t wait to be told how to package our product safely and professionally.
Hard to believe that for almost 100 years, the only edible in the mainstream was magic brownies.
That’s all changed. The world of infused cookery, whether cakes, pasta or pizza, is busting out big time. Everyone wants a piece of the ganja pie. Everyone has a MaryJane cookbook coming out. Common street wisdom holds that if you can find a food that folks are already eating, just add weed to it and you’ll get rich. Now there’s a glut of infused insanity weed-laden products to choose from.
Happiness is when you’ve found your perfect go-to baked good. A medicinal treat you can utilize for sleep or pain relief, or just to chill. It has that baby-bear blend of not-too-light and not-too-heavy. My new BFF is the Raspberry Tainted Truffle. This beautiful hunk of truffle placates both the mind and body. It’s like your bones are smiling. I did a regular strength dose and I could still function without the blob-like coma that some edibles induce.
JR: Can I tell you another thing I like about the product? I didn’t experience that big hangover I usually get after taking edibles. I didn’t wake up feeling fuzzy.
MM: That’s because we use really good herb. And we know what we’re doing. Just because a truffle is medicine, that doesn’t mean it can’t be as rewarding and as tasty as anything you’d find in high-end chocolate shops.
I guess I had my question answered: when you have a great product, ‘Tainted’ is just a word or semantics. Leave it to Mickey to challenge the world by naming his products the Tainted Truffles. He’s not worried if you’re going to like him and if the word ‘tainted’ scares you, then maybe this isn’t for you. If you can rise above the bullshit and get to what’s real, that’s where Mickey Martin presides.