The world has seemed to move on gradually from the concept that cannabis is only smoked or vaped. This has come on the back of the acceptance that cannabis is getting in different regions of the world. This widespread acceptance of cannabis has resulted in more states being open to the legalization and decriminalization of cannabis for medical and recreational use. This has paved the way for many more to see other innovative ways of using cannabis such as the use of transdermal patches, tinctures and oils, topical creams, and cannabis-infused edibles.
Cannabis edibles have grown expontentially in comparison with the cannabis market. The absence of the health risks that have been attached to the smoking of cannabis while still producing the much-desired effect of cannabis has definitely made cannabis edibles an acceptable alternative in the market.
Cannabis has since been infused into a different number of food products as some are purchased from manufacturers with labels to indicate the quality of the product being procured. Many cannabis users have also gotten used to the concept of making cannabis edibles from the comfort of their homes which has further improved its popularity. Cannabis edibles include gummy bears, brownies, and cookies which makes them both tasty and effective in giving the needed euphoric feeling for recreational users.
Many medical cannabis users are also largely open to the use of cannabis-infused edibles due to the ease of administration and the less attention that it draws from prying eyes. The impact of the preference for cannabis edibles resulted in a net worth of over $1 billion for the market and projections predict this can rise to $4.1 billion in 2022 (according to Arcview).
One particular component that is commonly used in cannabis edibles is chocolate. One problem that surrounds cannabis and chocolate seems to lie in the effect that chocolate has on THC and how this plays out into testing and dosing. Does Chocolate alter the potency of THC? Read on to find out!
THC and Chocolate
THC is the active cannabinoid present in the plant matrix of cannabis that produces the euphoric feeling felt by cannabis users. It is the active ingredient that tests for marijuana dosage rely on and its relationship with chocolate is one that we need to be concerned about. The issue occurs due to the difficulty when it comes to measuring the potency of cannabis edibles involving chocolate due to the effect of chocolate on THC.
The reality is that chocolate seems to suppress the level of THC that is detected when both are mixed together. The relationship is regarded as a matrix effect because when more chocolate is added, less THC than what is present is detected. Likewise, when less chocolate is added, more THC seems to be detectable. The exact cause of this effect is yet to be identified which is why there will still need to be a substantial amount of study into the relationship.
One possible cause of this effect is the fats that are present in chocolate. THC is a fat-soluble compound which means that when more chocolate containing fats is present, some of the fats dissolve a considerable amount of the THC making it less detectable. Likewise, when less chocolate is in the mixture, there are fewer fats to dissolve the THC making it more detectable.
Effect of the chocolate suppression on THC
The impact of the suppression of detectable levels of cannabis concerns different members of the cannabis industry. Beginning with the final cannabis user, the impact of this information is very important in deciding how to use cannabis and chocolate when making cannabis edibles at home. This is because when it comes to dosing, a cannabis user can fall victim to underdosing or overdosing if chocolate is involved. It also stresses the need for cannabis users to take caution when using cannabis edibles. Due to the fact that chocolate chocolates, gummy bears, and brownies are synonymous with some of the edibles we eat daily, some cannabis users are bound to take more than necessary. The downside of this is that such persons may be at risk of the unwanted side effect of overdosing on THC. The best thing for every recreational cannabis user in a legal state is to go to legal sources such as cannabis dispensaries where an accurate quantity of products is offered along with necessary information.
The relationship between chocolate and THC is also important for cannabis products producers because of the purpose of the labeling of their products. Accurate testing and measurement are needed before products are labeled because errors in the labeling of products due to the suppression of THC by chocolate could put the final consumer on the wrong side of the law when testing is done. Third-party testing bodies also need to take this relationship into consideration in order to be able to arrive at accurate and reliable results.
States where cannabis is legal for recreational and medical use also have regulations for their management. This is because cannabis is still not accepted generally on a federal level and is still regarded as a Schedule 1 narcotic drug with no medical value. This means that each state has the right of a legal dosage that is acceptable and each person should not be 10 percent more than the stipulated level. The issue with the suppression of THC by chocolate can put many cannabis users in problem with these state regulations. This is because a cannabis user may still believe they are in the clear while truly they have exceeded the acceptable limit.
The conclusion of the effect of the suppression of chocolate on THC is that there is still a need for more relevant studies to be carried out on the subject matter. This will help in equipping all concerned parties with the necessary steps to take. Cannabis users and producers should take note of this relationship and it should be a guide when dealing with cannabis edibles involving chocolate. The purpose of this is to ensure accurate measurement and testing can be done for the benefit of all involved.