May 1, 2016 5:05 PM

Medical Marijuana Edibles Face Challenges With Innovations

Medical marijuana edibles have already become a preferable option for cannabis patients. After weed legalization, new issues have started to rise in this budding field. For instance, there is the question of the close but imperfect relationship between cannabis and the food industry. However, with the help of innovations, the field of edible marijuana manages to meet the rising challenges and improve the American health care system.

Right Dose of Cannabinoids

Though producers of marijuana edibles assure us their products contain a strong and accurate dose of cannabis, there is still lack of regulation and quality assurance in this regard. Last year, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study that checked the accordance of the label dose with the actual cannabinoid content in medical marijuana edibles. The researchers obtained weed edibles from three randomly selected marijuana dispensaries in Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. During the investigation, 40 weed edible brands were tested to define the amount of CBD and THC in 75 cannabis products.

The results revealed that more than 50% of evaluated products had a significantly smaller content of cannabinoids than labeled, and some edibles contained insignificant amounts of THC. The scientists concluded that such edibles might not bring the desired medical effect. On the other hand, the products overloaded with THC could place consumers at risk of experiencing side effects after oral administration of cannabis. However, researchers from the American Chemical Society are now working on a new technique that will help measure marijuana compounds in edibles more precisely.

Potential Harm to Children

Other concerns regarding cannabis edibles are connected with accidental consumption of marijuana by young children. Unfortunately, unintentional harm to children was not discussed in the debate on cannabis legalization, but scientific studies show a constant increase of marijuana exposure among young children. In 2015, a study published by Clinical Pediatrics discovered 1969 young children took cannabis edibles accidentally during 2000-2013, and in 19% of exposures, emergency help was required. The findings revealed that the rate of weed exposure in states with legalized cannabis was three times higher compared with the states where marijuana use was illegal.

Colorado has already taken positive steps on this issue by requesting “child-resistant” packaging for marijuana-infused edibles and prohibiting marketing to children.

Cannabis Culinary Innovations

Some innovations have also been made in the culinary aspect of medical marijuana edibles. Chefs have prepared their professional response to traditional weed brownies and stoner cuisine. For example, Mindy Segal, a prominent pastry chef and the James Beard Award winner, cooperated with Cresco Labs to create a line of pot edibles.

Segal has studied everything about cannabis edibles: from properties of different weed strains and carbon dioxide distillation to the laws, politics, and branding. Her line named Mindy's First Batch combines her professional skills and the innovative approach that she has developed.

The line consists of products containing peanut brittle, milk chocolate, and peanut butter. With the help of modern technology, Segal managed to separate terpenes from cannabinoids. Thus, her products are created for the consumers that want to avoid the typical cannabis flavor. Segal also took into account the concerns surrounding edibles. Each edible is dosed with 10 mg of cannabinoids, lab-tested, and wrapped in child-proof packaging. Mindy Segal is considering creating a national brand in the future, but for now, citizens of Illinois have a great chance to buy her edibles at the licensed marijuana dispensaries.

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