Drugs

Marijuana Edibles Dangers: Alarming Effect Of Cannabis-Infused Food Exposed

There’s nothing to stop cannabis-infused foods from making it to retail shelves in Canada and the United States and becoming the next big thing by the 2020s.

The signs of the perfect edible storm are as clear today as those wisps of smoke wafting from out of your bong. The Coca-Cola Company is toying with the idea of partnering with some weed firms. Aurora Brands, Inc. is definitely going that route via snack foods.

And these are just the really big guys with the power to transform today’s cottage industry consisting of small mom and pop CBD producers into a real industry with sales running into the hundreds of billions of dollars. Equally important, these big producers will be able to impose product standards that clearly distinguish between edibles produced from hemp and those derived fromn marijuana.

The main concern over edibles is getting too much THC. CBD edibles aren’t that much of a problem.

Among the CBD edibles on the shelves today are chocolates, brownies, snacks, drinks, pizza and a bevy of baked goods. As many of you know, CBD is the healthy, good stuff in the marijuana plant. It’s not psychoactive (meaning it won’t get you high) unlike THC, which should always be used with caution.

CBD is credited with helping people get relief from a host of health issues such as anxiety, sleeplessness, and seizures. CBD edibles come from either hemp or from marijuana.

Those that originate from marijuana include the THC cannabinoid that produces the “high,” along with the CBD. Those that originate from hemp include CBD and less than 0.3 percent THC. This is an important distinction because it’s marijuana edibles that are giving cannabis-infused foods a bad rap.

Neither hemp nor marijuana edibles are considered legal in the eyes of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the federal regulator. The FDA, however, has organized a group to explore ways for supplements or foods with CBD to be marketed lawfully. Note, that the FDA is concerned only about CBD.

That’s because the 2018 Farm Bill or the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 recognized a new category of cannabis classified as ''hemp." Hemp is defined as cannabis and cannabis derivatives with no more than a 0.3 percent concentration of THC. This classification removed hemp from the U.S. Controlled Substances Act.

This new FDA group held a hearing in May 2018 that saw participants exchange information and challenges about the production and marketing of CBD products.

The FDA retains its authority to regulate products with cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

And until such a time when this new group or any other body gives its nod to the use of CDB as a food ingredient, the FDA will say it’s not lawful to introduce food with added CBD or THC into interstate commerce. The FDA will say it’s still not legal to market these products either as dietary supplements or as an addition to them.

Even though hemp is no longer under the Controlled Substances Act, the FDA still doesn’t consider CBD edibles legal, whether hemp or marijuana. The FDA still considers CBD a drug unfit for human consumption.

Most of the CBD products you see on the shelves at stores are topical such as oils and creams.

And the FDA can cite statistics to bolster it’s claim that now is not the time for CBD- or THC-infused foods. In Colorado where recreational use of marijuana is legal, research found that of those who visited the state’s emergency rooms from 2012 to 2016, people that consumed edibles were more likely to have psychiatric and cardiovascular problems compared to those who inhaled weed.

Some states continue to disallow CBD edibles, supporting the FDA view. In February, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services sent letters to manufacturers and retailers, warning them that under FDA laws, CBD is a drug and "cannot legally be added to any human food or animal feed that is for sale."

New York City's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene warned food service establishments and retailers not to add CBD to foods and drinks. Starting October 1, the department will issue violations and perhaps fines.

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