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How Safe Are Your Edibles?

Thursday, September 12, 2019

With recent amendments to the dangerous drugs act in 2015, individuals are becoming more open to using extracted oils such as cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for medicinal and recreational purposes. While not new to many, the legislations have resulted in increased offerings of CDB- and THC-infused edibles such as chewable gummies, lollipops, chocolate candy and the infamous cookies and brownies, as these are of course more socially acceptable than smoking and vaping.

Since there are no regulatory standards for the production, labelling and distribution of these cannabis-infused edibles, we need to be mindful of where we source these products and how much we consume, especially if we intend to use them for medical purposes such as chronic pain. Additionally, some consumers purchase these edibles from random individuals selling the products from home. Don't forget the edibles are “food” and require the same basic principles for production and processing as everything we consume.


Source of raw material

Unless you are purchasing from a reputable supplier with strict product testing regimes, there is no certainty the extracted oils used to make your product is free from pesticide residue, mould, heavy metals or other bio-contaminants from cultivation and storage. If possible source CBD/THC-infused products from companies or individuals that can guarantee raw material used is sourced from a safe supplier free of contaminants.


Processing conditions

As with all our food we need to be aware of the additives used. While the ideal situation would be to have all edible products labelled with this information, the reality is no entity has been monitoring this activity. Consequently, we are unaware of the compounds used to extract oils, the amount used in each serving and sometimes even the specific ingredients used in the items purchased.

Additionally, we have no idea about the conditions of the processing areas used to manufacture, package and store these items and whether or not the individuals carrying out production activities have basic knowledge of food safety principles such as washing of hands, sanitation of processing equipment, pest control, temperature control, etc.


Dosage and serving size

Unless your supplier is equipped with necessary lab equipment for analysis, or invests in sending samples of the product for testing, it is likely that they are unaware of the exact dosage of THC/CBD in each serving of product. Consequently, you may be supplied with products that may not help your current condition or are unsafe for consumption and further exacerbate your medical problems. If you intend to use products for medicinal purposes, purchase from a supplier that is able to give a commitment of safety.