The Best Highs of a Low Year

Escaping the madness of 2020 was just a gummy, honey stick, infused peach or good, old-fashioned bowl away.

"Toward the end of August, my family and I set out for Mount Hood to shoehorn at least one camping adventure into a summer spent mostly sequestered inside. There was one variable: the agreeability of our 5-year-old autistic son. He loves the outdoors, but his verbal acuity is extremely limited, so anything that upsets him without our understanding has the potential to derail an entire day. In these instances, patience is my greatest tool. But it is finite—which is why I preemptively jammed an entire Hapy Kitchen Sea Salt Caramel in my mouth as we crossed through Sandy.

"Forty-five minutes later, we'd arrived and our son protested almost immediately. He melted into hysterics, refusing to exit the car while my partner exhausted himself with futile negotiations. This was when my onset began to bloom. The collision of my sparkling high and the drama playing out in the backseat of our Subaru could have been a recipe for catastrophe. Instead, I calmly set up camp, arranged a picnic, and did a quick yoga flow before relieving my partner of his heretofore unsuccessful persuasion project.

"My high built to its crescendo as my son and I embraced in the backseat. I improvised a speech about the joy of camping, why it's familiar, how we've done it so many times before. After 15 minutes of measured cajoling, we left the car. My son strolled past our campsite to the vast meadow just past the tree line, turned his face toward the sky, and screamed 'I'M OK!' several times before stepping back into camp and nestling himself within the tent.

"It was the hardest I'd laughed and the highest I'd been all year."

—Brianna Wheeler, WW cannabis writer

"My most memorable high this year was in early March, right before lockdown. My sister, Andrea, was visiting from Canada, and we were given tickets to see Frozen at the Keller Auditorium, which was packed. I ate half a Wyld pomegranate 1-to-1 THC/CBD gummy edible, and it kicked in during a very visual number that climaxes with Elsa transforming into a glittering dress, surrounded by a trippy winter wonderland. It was my last opportunity this year to experience a moment of pure novelty and joy with a crowd. I'm so grateful we came out of that experience as healthy as when we went in."

—Anja Charbonneau, editor in chief and creative director of Broccoli magazine

"One morning in October, my housemate and I took a trip to IKEA. To make the experience more enjoyable, we split a 50 mg THC-infused honey stick. The high was lovely—it didn't smack me in the face as others edibles sometimes do. When my housemate and I got home, I went outside into the back shared courtyard to enjoy my honey high in our garden, along with one of my housemate's cats, Bagel. The neighbors in the adjacent apartment came outside as well, and they brought with them the biggest dog I've ever seen. Before I could get Bagel back inside, the owner of this gigantic dog unclipped the leash with a nonchalant "Cats will defend themselves if need be." Seeing Bagel, the dog leaped after him, bounding around the courtyard breaking pots and jumping on picnic tables in his pursuit. Eventually, Bagel wedged himself into an ivy-covered nook in the wall and the dog was leashed and taken back inside with many apologies by the neighbors. We sat outside for two hours trying to get this wailing cat to come down, still absolutely toasted from our honey high. Eventually, my housemate was able to grab him with a blanket and deposit him safely inside. We ended with more THC-infused honey and a huge pile of tacos. Bagel had a heaping portion of stewed carnitas all to himself."

—Emma Chasen, cannabis educator and consultant

"In a year of record cannabis consumption, when it seemed most highs were aimed at staving off the lows, the buzz that gave me the most joy was this grilled peach filled with Lemon Kush-infused goat cheese in a gorgeous salad of arugula, nasturtium and tangerine marigold. Five milligrams per serving, so not a sock-knocker but certainly a jaw-dropper."

—Leather Storrs, host of Cooked With Cannabis on Netflix

"This year, I definitely experimented way more than I usually do, but my best high was after smoking a bowl of Pineapple Fields picked up from Virtue Supply Co. The buds smelled sweet, were super fluffy, and boy, did she hit. I spent a full day doing nothing but cooking, cleaning, and creating. You just don't want to stop, it gives you so much energy. A great strain for battling the 2020 blues."

—Savina Monet, co-founder of the Cannabis Workers Coalition

"Watching the Savage X Fenty Fashion Show with my mom was a high point of my quarantine—and watching it with her while sharing some Retreats gummies elevated it to my favorite high of the year. Already fairly zonked on painkillers from shoulder surgery a couple days prior, she stuck to the 25-to-1 CBD version (10 mg CBD and 0.5 mg THC). It helped her summon the appetite for dinner and settle more comfortably into the awkward sitting position with her surgical sling. I opted for the 1-to-1 Retreats, which took me by surprise with a more intense case of the giggles when my mom asked me who that "that Bunny guy" was (referring to Bad Bunny, of course). Retreats are made with 'liquid-cured' resin, and I'm not 100% sure what that means, but I am positive that I felt the best gummy high I've experienced in a long time. More mood elevation, more physical relaxation, more fun—it tasted like butter after you've been eating margarine for months."

—Lauren Yoshiko, WW cannabis writer