Medford’s Plain Jane Specializes in CBD Products. We Sampled a Bunch of Them.

It’s altogether too easy to get swept up in the alternative health and lifestyle buzz around cannabinoids, and finding trusted brands is an exercise in trial and error

In a market flush with both legitimate and novelty CBD products, finding a consumable that speaks to your needs can be challenging. Medford's Plain Jane, however, has tapped into the market with such calculated brilliance that it may have swayed my whole squad to incorporate non-psychoactive cannabinoids into their regular consumption.

In early 2019, members of the squad and I attended the RAD Expo, a cannabis convention for retailers and dispensaries that, for legal reasons, mainly featured CBD brands. This protracted day of bombastic booth-barking and sampling resulted in a very familiar brand of bad-weed headache, typically borne from lungfuls of seeds, stems and/or being fooled into puffing on industrial hemp.

It's altogether too easy to get swept up in the alternative health and lifestyle buzz around cannabinoids, and finding trusted brands is an exercise in trial and error. So naturally, we approached the Plain Jane product line with some trepidation.

I needed a panel opinion, but I also wanted to be confident in these products before presenting the Plain Jane spread to the rest of my squad for a tasting party. I auditioned one of its Sour Space Candy pre-rolls as soon as they arrived. Sure enough, that pre-roll told me everything I needed to know.

Sour Space Candy Pre-rolls ($15 for an 8 pack, 3.5 g each)

In terms of fragrance, mouthfeel, smokability and looks, Plain Jane's pre-rolls are indistinguishable from those containing THC. The terp profile is rich with tart notes of citrus and flowery herbs, the inhale is smooth and velvety, and the exhale is a perfumey mashup of stank weed and an English garden. The warm, ephemeral wash of CBD complacency accompanies each draw, never feeling like intoxication, but rather like the quenching of an indefinable, newly discovered thirst.

Caviar Twax Hemp Joints (1 g, $10 each)

First on deck for the crowdsourced smoke were the Caviar Twax joints, meaty pre-rolls coated in a cashmere layer of CBD keef and laced with CBD oil. We were all aghast at the weight, construction, fragrance and feel of the joints between our fingers. They felt luxurious, expensive, and totally extravagant. Once lit, they burned evenly and slowly, filling the room with an earthy bouquet, which, while not nearly as pungent as the Sour Space Candy, was still inoffensively aromatic. We smoked them with the same casual intensity as we would when we used to pass around similarly opulent THC joints in the pre-COVID era, which surprised us all since we felt no discernible effects, at least not right away. Bonus: There was not one cough while the twax joints were smoked.

Palm Leaf Mini Hemp Blunts ($14 for a 4-pack, 0.5 g each)

Next up were the Palm Leaf Mini Blunts, 3 inches each of Blueberry Diesel, Sour Space Candy, a CBG blend, and Golden Cherry strains, neatly dressed in deep green palm leaves and decorated with tidy cigar bands. The size was perfect for personal use, and each smoked evenly down to the filter in approximately 10 to 15 minutes. The Blueberry Diesel and Sour Space Candy both delivered expected flavor profiles and mouthfeels—sweetly herbal silk and sour stank corduroy, respectively—but the Golden Cherry and CBG varieties landed differently.

"This tastes medicinal, but not unpleasantly so," said the Golden Cherry smoker, comparing it distinctly to the nostalgic flavor of cherry children's cough syrup. The CBG smoker then slowly turned her head to mine and quietly contemplated whether or not she felt "high" before deciding yes, she did in fact feel some semblance of a high. When unpacking what that high felt like, the easiest way to describe it was as a very sheer wash of relaxation that harmonized with her resting mood.

Cigarette-style Hemp Pre-rolls ($3 for a 2-pack, $13 for a 20-pack)

As the night wound to a close, I passed out the cigarette-style joints. We came to a consensus immediately: These are made for a strangely unfamiliar smoke. There is a distinct difference between consuming tobacco and cannabis, and it was mildly disorienting. "This is weird because you hit joints like joints and cigarettes like cigarettes," said one crew member. After getting used to it, the consensus was these were actually marginally suitable replacements for tobacco cigarettes and would probably make the process of quitting tobacco somewhat easier by providing a familiar crutch. They won us over in the end. For the record, we hit them like both cigarettes and joints—interpret that as you will.

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