With the legalization of marijuana is a growing number of states, the use of edibles – using cannabis in food items such as brownies, gummy bears, and cookies – is also growing. However, a new study tells us that chocolate interferes with potency levels in edibles; hence, it is harder to detect.
The marijuana edibles market has grown drastically since the legalization of the drug. In 2017, the market was worth approximately $1 billion in the U.S. and Canada. Estimates show that by 2022, it will rise to around $4.1 billion.
Previous research shows that THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) levels, which is the main ingredient in cannabis, are not accurately represented when placed in an edible. The new study shows that testing for THC in chocolate edibles is even harder to detect.
Specific agents present in chocolate that when mixed with cannabis, skew potency levels and become very hard to detect.
Chocolate in Edibles Subdues THC Levels
The research shows that some ingredient in chocolate creates some ‘matrix effect,’ meaning when there’s more chocolate, there are lower THC levels.
The head researcher, David Dawson, a researcher of the CW Analytical Laboratories, shares some results. He says that when there was 1 gram of chocolate infused in a vile, there were higher THC levels than when 2 grams were infused.
The exact ingredient that causes such an effect is currently unknown. However, David Dawson is conducting more research on different forms of chocolate, such as a bar, cocoa powder, white chocolate. He hopes to figure out the exact determinant of this effect. He suspects that it is the fats that are influencing the potency results. THC is fat-soluble.
Caution Recommended When Having Edibles
This recent discovery about chocolate and its effects on marijuana do not impact regular pot users. Instead, it keeps third party testing facilities and marijuana suppliers on high alert.
Dawson claims that the findings of his study do not pose any harm or threat to the general public. It is something interesting in analytical testing, nothing anything that should affect consumers.
However, consumers should still be cautious when it comes to edibles. There is a high risk of overdose because of labeling errors that might occur because of inaccurate THC testing. It may also have some unpleasant and unwanted side effects, such as extreme sedation of paranoia.
It is recommended that edibles be bought from a reliable source that has accurately tested their products — places such as a state-licensed medical cannabis dispensary.
Furthermore, start with small portions and slowly increase while gauging how your body is reacting to the edible. Compared to other forms of cannabis, edibles may take up to 2 hours to kick in.
To conclude, the new study finds that chocolate affects the levels of THC that are traceable in edibles. More chocolate equates to fewer traces of THC and vice versa.
Taking into account that marijuana is legal in a few states but still illegal at the federal level, regulating the drug has been tricky. Dawson and other researchers hope that the results of this study aid third party producers in providing more accurate information.