Patients buying medical marijuana to eat and drink may not know quite what they’re getting, according to new research in the Journal of the American Medical Asssociation (paywall) that compared their purported levels of THC with lab tests that determined actual THC levels. THC and another compound called cannabidiol (CBD) are believed to cause most of marijuana’s medicinal effects, and THC provides most of the “psychoactive” effects, which make you feel stoned.
Not surprisingly for the largely unregulated marijuana marketplace, there was quite a sizable gap between the label and reality:
Researchers conducted tests at the Werc Shop laboratory, whose CEO is a study co-author, on on baked goods, beverages, and candy from medical marijuana dispensaries in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle. They concluded that medical marijuana patients were likely to receive too high of a dose (products with 58% more THC than labeled) or, more likely, too low of a dose. Some of the products tested had “negligible” amounts of the drug.