Marijuana Edibles : Buyers and Users Beware

July 21, 2021

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over 100 cannabinoids contained in cannabis. It’s been associated with different health benefits, including helping reduce anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. CBD foods can come from either hemp or marijuana. The high-producing THC cannabinoid, as well as the CBD, are found in those that come from marijuana and are sold only in states and provinces where it is legal. CBD and less than 0.3 percent THC are found in hemp-derived products.

After its legalization in Canada and the United States of America, the danger of consuming too much THC in marijuana edibles has become a major concern. Researchers in Colorado, where recreational marijuana use is legal, looked at over 2,500 cannabis-related emergency room visits from 2012 to 2016 and discovered that inhaled cannabis had a greater percentage of visits, while edibles users were more likely to suffer psychological and cardiovascular issues.

Experts argue that product labeling is a problem for both hemp and marijuana CBD products. Users do not know whether what is written on the label is true or not. Furthermore, in a 2015 study, researchers looked at 75 marijuana treats and discovered that only 17% were correctly labeled.

Hence, this article will talk about the risks and side effects of consuming too much marijuana edible for buyers and the important information that they must be aware of.  

Related Cases

Some significant scenarios about how marijuana edibles could greatly affect the human body had been reported to the media in Canada. The 70-year-old guy stated that he felt like he was dying when he arrived at the hospital via ambulance. He was pale, sick, and in excruciating pain in his chest. His doctor, Alexandra Saunders, MD, head medical resident for Dalhousie University in St. John, New Brunswick, Canada, said that he had hallucinations at home. The medical team quickly determined that he had suffered a heart attack.

He had eaten a marijuana-laced lollipop that a friend had given him in the hopes of lulling him to sleep. However, because of his pre-existing cardiac illness, the doctors couldn’t conclude that the lollipop indeed caused the attack. They also lacked sufficient information to determine the dose.

The Growing Market For Edibles

Regardless of the worries, the market is thriving. According to Bethany Gomez, managing director of the Brightfield Group, a market research organization, the cannabis edibles business was worth $2.3 billion in 2018. By 2022, it’s anticipated to be worth $5.3 billion for both medical and recreational CBD. Also, the market for hemp CBD edibles was worth $100.2 million in 2018, according to her, and is predicted to reach $4.9 billion by 2022.

FDA’s Perception of Edibles

Notwithstanding their appeal, neither hemp nor marijuana-derived CBD edibles are deemed legal by the federal authorities, at least not yet. The 2018 Farm Bill (Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018) recognized a new class of cannabis known as “hemp,” which is described as cannabis and cannabis products with a THC concentration of less than 0.3 percent. The federal Controlled Substances Act was repealed as a result of this ruling.

Nonetheless, under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the FDA retains the jurisdiction to regulate items containing cannabis or cannabis-derived chemicals. As a result, according to the FDA, it is illegal to bring CBD or THC-added food into interstate commerce or to sell the items as dietary supplements or as a supplement to them.

Buyers Beware!

According to Martin Lee, co-founder and CEO of Project CBD, a cannabis medicinal information website, the legal position of edibles is puzzling, even beyond the FDA. Also, the FDA does not consider marijuana edibles or hemp to be legal, despite the fact that hemp is no longer covered by the Controlled Substances Act.

Some states, following the FDA’s lead, have made CBD edibles illegal. Moreover, CBD is not allowed to be included in any food for human or animal consumption under FDA regulations, according to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene also issued a caution to foodservice and retail establishments about the prohibition of adding CBD to foods and beverages.

Maine changed tracks in late March, when the governor signed a measure allowing hemp products in the food after previously forbidding them.

Testing Requirements

CBD edibles do not have any established testing requirements.According to Gomez of the Brightfield Group, the large majority of states that have legalized marijuana have some form of testing guidelines for CBD products generated from marijuana.

Consumers aged 21 and above who live in states where marijuana is legalized can feel safe in buying CBD products from trusted dispensaries, according to Lee of Project CBD. Also, some hemp CBD companies, according to Gomez, are conducting volunteer tests by embedding QR (quick response) codes on labels or placing an identifier on products so that consumers can immediately click on the manufacturer’s website and determine whether the product is genuine. 

Furthermore, 13 hemp-producing enterprises were granted authorization to use the US Hemp Authority’s Certified Seal on their products in March. Companies must, among other things, achieve self-regulatory standards and pass a third-party audit to earn this designation. The Hemp Authority is a non-profit organization that was founded with seed money from the US Hemp Roundtable, a trade group for hemp producers.

Label Reading for Edibles

Buyers can do their own investigation before purchasing CBD edibles until the FDA approves them. Jonathan Miller, general counsel for the US Hemp Roundtable, urges people to look at the package and make sure the hemp doesn’t contain a lot of THC in it, unless that’s what they’re searching for. He also cautioned folks that there are a lot of fake goods on the market that don’t contain CBD or have more THC than permitted.

Cautions

According to Paul Armento, deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, just labeling the packaging will not solve the problem. It is, in his opinion, a matter of education rather than merely labeling.

He also noted that how the body reacts to cannabis when smoked differs significantly from how it reacts when consumed. Marijuana edibles take longer to take effect than smoked marijuana. Its effects, however, stay longer.

As a result, those interested in trying CBD edibles should start slowly and gradually increase their dosage. Begin with modest doses and see how your body reacts before gradually increasing the dose.

Conclusion

After everything is said and done, consuming marijuana edibles versus inhaling it has various side effects. Buyers and consumers should think about the effects it might have on their bodies. Everything is fine as long as it is done in moderation. The general people must be informed of the marijuana edibles they are consuming, conduct research, and not rely simply on labels, which are frequently inaccurate or inadequate. To avoid future difficulties, know your limits, be cautious, and always seek medical advice.