Chocolate in marijuana edibles is skewing potency levels in tests

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Be careful the next time you devour a pot brownie.

A new study suggests that chocolate is throwing off potency results of cannabis in tests, appearing to suppress the levels of THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. That means the THC levels listed on packaging labels for edibles may be lower than they actually are in the edible, according to new research presented at the American Chemical Society Fall 2019 National Meeting & Exposition.

The study referred to the suppression as "a matrix effect," which means the more chocolate in an edible, the less THC that is detected.

Michigan's Marijuana Regulatory Agency requires dispensaries to list THC levels on packaging labels.

Researchers have not yet determined what in chocolate is causing the inconsistent readings, though they suspect it may be the fats. After all, THC is fat-soluble.

The edible marijuana industry is blossoming, raking in $1 billion a year. By 2022, it's expected to reach $4.1 billion, according to Arcview, which studies the cannabis market.

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About The Author

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling is an award-winning investigative journalist who operated Motor City Muckraker, an online news site devoted to exposing abuses of power and holding public officials accountable. Neavling also hosted Muckraker Report on 910AM from September 2017 to July 2018. Before launching Motor City Muckraker,...
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