There are plenty of high-quality cannabis products in Chicago these days. Windy City cannabis has taken a turn for the bougie and swag with the recent introduction of bigger brands and familiar products, but exorbitant pricing still holds the market back.
We’ve tried quite a few of the best THC products in Chicago, so we thought we’d put together a rundown of the 10 contenders that scored the best. In the end, find answers to questions you might be asking about the current status of the cannabis industry in Illinois.
The Windy City cannabis market — an overview
The Illinois cannabis market has a long way to go. Keep in mind that it’s just over a year old — recreational weed only became legal in Chicago in January of 2020.
Still, that’s enough time to learn a few lessons. Maybe take taxes down to bring in more illicit consumers. Incentivize entry from operators that aren’t directly controlled by multi-state cannabis giants. Do things that make your market less exploitative and more useful for the people.
Proper reform is surely coming in time, but Chicago is notorious as one of the country’s most corrupt cities. As long as there is easy tax revenue to chase, terms like “long-term consequences” and “social impact” can easily be brushed aside.
1. Grassroots Candyland THC Flower 3.5g (4.4 Stars)
Without further ado, let’s start with the top-scoring cannabis product we’ve reviewed in Chicago.
- Some of the best sativa bud you can buy in Chicago
- Candyland is a frosty, purple strain with a sweet and citrusy flavor
- Energetic, euphoric high
- Effects kicked in quickly
- This high-tier bud is surprisingly inexpensive given the Chicago cannabis market’s overall sky-high prices
- Strong sativa flower that gives you what you’re looking for
- Professional packaging, widely available product
- Long-lasting effects
- It comes at a considerable price
- Still nowhere near the quality, you can buy with the same money in more stable cannabis economies
- Way more expensive than even similar Grassroots products in other states
In a market dominated by flower that is either ridiculously overpriced or lamentably low-quality, this offering from Grassroots is surprisingly reminiscent of the shape Chicago cannabis products will take when market stability inevitably descends.
2. Beboe Downtime Disposable Vape Pen 0.5g (4.4 Stars)
Beboe’s vapes are effective and well-made even though they’re expensive and not exactly connoisseur.
- Indica vape pen with CBD designed to help you wind down and get to sleep
- Good taste, easy pickup experience at MOCA in Logan Square
- 60% THC, 15% CBD + other minor cannabinoids
- Contains the terpenes bisabolol, myrcene, and linalool — among others
- Fast activation
- $140 per gram
- Super-simple activate-on-inhale vape for newbies
- Added CBD is a nice touch
- Are you really going to pay that for half a gram? Well, okay.
This is a solid disposable vape pen to try if you’re in Chicago and you like that sort of thing. It’s almost impossible to find legal cannabis products in Illinois right now, however, that you could honestly call reasonably priced. Be prepared to pay way more than you should for this ultimately average Chicago THC vape pen.
3. Wana Strawberry Lemonade 1:1 CBD/THC Sour Gummies (4.4 Stars)
Uninspired packaging conceals delicious, reasonably effective gummies offered at a surprisingly low price.
- 100mg of both CBD and THC per package
- 10mg of each cannabinoid per gummy
- Tropical fruit and strawberry flavor
- Blissful, sleepy high
- Great organic ingredients
- High pricing is (for once) justified by high-quality ingredients
- Delicious flavoring
- Still, it’s more than you should pay for THC gummies under any circumstances
- Walgreens-style packaging
Ultimately, these gummies reek of a product designed to attract money with consumer satisfaction an afterthought. They aren’t particularly well-designed or well-packaged, but they’re certainly effective and delicious while sporting surprisingly safe ingredients for a product that isn’t as thoughtful otherwise.
4. Beboe Inspired THC Pastilles 100mg (4.2 Stars)
What are THC pastilles? Maybe you know already, but this is a great way to find out.
- Small, sweet, mint-shaped candies
- Come in a metal tin just like many conventional mints
- 20 pastilles per package, 5mg THC & 3mg CBD per pastille
- Sativa effects
- Solvent-free water-hash extract taken from organically grown plants
- Very safety-oriented brand
- Delicious candies don’t taste like cannabis
- Relatively weak with only one pastille
- Overpriced but not exorbitantly
We neither particularly like nor dislike these THC candies. While relatively ineffective on their own, three or four pastilles are enough to deliver a potent, long-lasting high. We love Beboe’s dedication to extremely safe extraction processes and ingredients, but we still wish we could pay less for THC products in Chicago right now.
5. Mary’s Medicinals Muscle Freeze THC Topical (4.2 Stars)
An effective topical from a top CBD brand that smells overwhelmingly of menthol and costs at least 40% more than it should.
- From a reasonably popular hemp company
- 150mg THC and 150mg CBD per bottle
- Liquid gel topical
- Squirt-top, 3oz bottle
- About double the price you should be paying
- Solid product from a brand you trust
- Potent effects that combine CBD and THC
- One of the most overpriced topicals in Chicago
- Certain questionable ingredients
Despite an irritating lack of product information, this topical is a solid addition to our roundup of the best THC products in the Windy City. If you’ve already tried Mary’s Medicinals in CBD form, you’ll feel comfortable applying this lotion, which appears to be identical to the hemp version except with the addition of THC.
6. Verano Swift Lifts Mag Landrace Mini Pre-Roll Pack (4 Stars)
Acceptably effective pre-rolls offered in an imaginative tin.
- 5 half-gram pre-rolls per package
- Sleek, modern tin design
- Relaxing and stimulating hybrid effects
- Wrapped in hemp paper, reasonably high-quality as pre-rolls go
- Provides the performance you’d expect from joints
- Potent joints with nondescript hybrid effects
- Well-rolled, high-quality plant material
- Could be slightly better-cured
These are the only pre-rolls we’ve tried in Chicago that we would actually recommend. It’s not that they are the best joints we’ve ever smoked — they certainly aren’t. The Illinois cannabis market is woefully bereft of acceptable products at the moment, however, making the Verano Swift Lifts Mag Landrace Mini Pre-Roll Pack look far better in comparison.
CBD crossover topical that delivered reasonably potent effects despite being somewhat disappointing across the board.
- 1:1 CBD:THC lotion
- 100mg of both THC and CBD per package
- Developed by a long-time Illinois medical cannabis producer
- Great ingredients and light aroma
- The water-based lotion absorbs fast and smooth
- Fast activation time, long-lasting effects
- $50 per 2oz bottle
- This pricing may be normal in Chicago, but it isn’t anywhere else
Starting out as a medical cannabis brand, we are unsurprised that Nature’s Grace and Wellness take such a conscientious approach with their Cloud Nine Lotion. Topicals are among the least overpriced products in the Chicago cannabis market because they don’t contain as many cannabinoids inherently.
8. Avexia Pain Relief Harmony 1:1 CBD/THC Topical (4 Stars)
Great ingredients and acceptable effects still have you wondering why you paid $45 for such low-dose cannabis topical.
- The big brand with multi-state placement
- 100mg CBD and 100mg THC per package
- Greasy, oily balm
- Safe, natural ingredients
- 2oz jar
- Strong effects
- Pricing slightly lower than other Chicago THC topicals
- Greasy texture sticks to clothing
- Higher cannabinoid concentrations would justify the price
Pitched as a topical for athletes, the Avexia Pain Relief Harmony topical would just as soon have you not ask any annoying questions. Transparency will become increasingly necessary as the Chicago cannabis industry evolves, however, and operators like Avexia will need to evolve along with it.
9. PTS Pure Essentials 10mg Chill Pill THC Capsules (3.8 Stars)
Don’t get PTSD from this poorly named brand. These capsules were reasonably effective even though they take a long time to kick in.
- 10mg THC per capsule
- 10 capsules per package
- $28 per bottle — surprisingly reasonable for Chicago
- Safe ingredients
- The natural aroma from lavender oil
- Some might find capsules more convenient
- Acceptable effects when you take multiple capsules
- Weak even for capsules
- Took an incredibly long time to kick in
- Overpriced as usual — but not as bad as they could be
There’s a lot to like about these capsules. We’re concerned, however, by Blair’s report that her Pure Essentials 10mg Chill Pill THC Capsules took over an hour to kick in.
10. Mindy’s Dark Chocolate Almond Toffee Bar 100mg (3.6 Stars)
Delicious yet wildly overpriced, these connoisseur confectionaries are more chocolate than cannabis.
- 100mg THC per bar
- $41 per bar at GreenHouse Dispensary in Skokie
- Crafted by chef Mindy Segal, winner of the James Beard award
- Infused with Cresco-grown THC flower
- Another component of the Cresco sphere of dominance in Illinois cannabis
- Absolutely delicious chocolate
- Comes from an acclaimed chef
- Cresco cannabis is at least trustworthy
- Very ineffective when it comes to edibles
- Yet still very high-priced
You might be disappointed if you expected to get blitzed from these chocolates. With the right mindset, however, you’ll view these artisanal treats as delicious chocolates augmented by cannabis — not cannabis cloaked in chocolate like many other edibles.
Dishonorable Mention: High Supply Gorilla Glue Indica Shake 3.5g (3.2 Stars)
This Chicago cannabis product didn’t quite make our list, and to be honest, there are other products that scored higher. Still, we wanted to mention this can of shake because of how illustrative it is of the current status of the Illinois cannabis market.
In a healthy cannabis economy, this low-tier shake canister would have been offered as an afterthought — a way to get rid of excess trim. In Chicago, however, High Supply Gorilla Glue Indica Shake is treated as a high-end, connoisseur item. It’s amazing what a difference a few little laws can make in what people are willing to pay.
The word “abomination” honestly doesn’t seem too strong when describing this woeful stab national cannabis giant Cresco has taken at an affordable Illinois recreational product. Legal weed is simply so expensive in Chicago right now that the only thing you can buy with the same money that would get you top-shelf elsewhere is shake so bad it will make you hack up a lung after a single hit.
Best THC products in the Windy City FAQ
Let’s wrap up with brief answers to common Chicago cannabis questions:
1. Can you buy THC in Chicago?
Yes, adults over 21 years of age can buy recreational THC products in Chicago and throughout Illinois legally. Illinois House Bill 1438 was signed into law in 2019, and recreational cannabis has been legal in the Windy City since January 1, 2020. You can’t consume cannabis in public in Illinois, though, and the amount of cannabis you can legally possess is limited.
2. What’s the best dispensary in Illinois?
Best Dosage Chicago Correspondent Blair seems particularly fond of MOCA in Logan Square. This location offers easy walk-in pickup for internet orders and is always well-stocked with the most popular cannabis products in Illinois.
3. What are the best edibles in Illinois?
In the opinion of the Best Dosage editorial staff, Mindy’s currently offers the best edibles in the Chicago THC lineup. Coming from an acclaimed chef, these connoisseur Chicago cannabis edibles are both delicious and potent. Also worth mentioning are Beboe’s pastilles, which are somewhat less inventive while still impressively effective.
4. How much do edibles go for in Chicago?
Let’s put it this way — a lot. In stable recreational cannabis markets, 100mg THC edibles go for around $10 a pop. In Illinois right now, however, you might pay as much as $40 or $50 for a 100mg bag of edibles.
Cannabis pricing will probably go down over time in Illinois as it has in other states. Right now, though, Chicagoans have to take significant hits to their wallets to buy weed legally — so of course, they still have their dealers saved as contacts in their phones.