Science & Technology

In style Snack or Marijuana Edible? Research Finds Some Cannabis Merchandise Look Like Frequent Snack Meals

Copycat Cannabis Edibles

“Copycat” edibles look remarkably much like widespread snack meals. Credit: Ompad/NYU

Copycat edibles enhance threat for unintended ingestion by youngsters, embrace excessive THC content material.

Some hashish edibles look remarkably much like widespread snack meals and should simply be confused for them, finds a brand new research led by researchers at NYU School of Global Public Health that might be printed immediately (April 19, 2022) within the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

These “copycat” edibles even have ranges of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC—the principle psychoactive compound in hashish—that far exceed the boundaries set by state hashish rules.

“At first glance, most of the packages look almost exactly like familiar snacks. If these copycat cannabis products are not stored safely, there is the potential for accidental ingestion by children or adults,” mentioned Danielle Ompad, affiliate professor of epidemiology at NYU School of Global Public Health and the lead writer of the brand new research.

Edibles are a preferred and quickly increasing section of the marijuana trade. More than half (56%) of people that use hashish in states the place it’s authorized devour edibles, with youthful individuals being extra possible to take action.

Recent information stories have drawn consideration to edibles that use related branding and imagery to imitate widespread snack meals. These copycat hashish merchandise are a public well being concern given that folks—together with youngsters—might mistake them for snacks and unintentionally devour them. From 2017 to 2019, U.S. Poison Control Centers dealt with almost 2,000 circumstances of younger youngsters ages 0 to 9 consuming edibles.

To acquire a deeper understanding of copycat edibles, the researchers collected tons of of photographs of hashish merchandise and analyzed their packaging, together with branding, names, imagery, and THC content material. They centered on photographs for 267 edibles and located that 8% (22 photographs) intently resembled 13 totally different snack merchandise.

Twelve of the merchandise had been candies or candy snacks (fruit chews, fruit snacks, rice and marshmallow treats, and gummies) and one was a salty snack (chips). Eight of the 13 packages used the precise model or product identify of the unique product; the remaining 5 used names that had been related (for example, “Stoner Patch Dummies” as an alternative of “Sour Patch Kids”). Seven of the packages used the identical cartoon or model character as the unique product.

Most states which have legalized hashish restrict the quantity of THC in edibles—sometimes 5 mg or 10 mg of THC per dose and 100 mg per package deal. According to data listed on the packaging of the lookalike merchandise, these edibles contained a median of 459 mg of THC and a variety of 300 to 600 mg per package deal, vastly exceeding the utmost limits.

“While each package is likely intended to include multiple doses, few packages indicate the serving size or number of servings,” mentioned Ompad, who can also be the deputy director of the Center for Drug Use and HIV/HCV Research (CDUHR) at NYU School of Global Public Health. “Moreover, if we’re considering 10 mg a standard dose, these products could contain an alarming 30 to 60 doses per package.”

The findings spotlight the chance that these copycat merchandise may very well be enticing to youngsters, given the colourful packaging and use of acquainted branding and characters.

“Policies to prevent cannabis packaging from appealing to children haven’t stopped copycat products from entering the market—nor have food brands taken legal action against cannabis companies for copyright infringement,” mentioned Ompad. “People who purchase edibles that look like snack foods should store them separately from regular snacks and out of reach of children.”

Reference: “Copycat and lookalike edible cannabis product packaging in the United States” by Danielle C. Ompad, Kyle M. Snyder, Simon Sandh, Daniel Hagen, Kewanda J. Collier, Emily S. Goldmann, Melody S. Goodman and Andy S. L. Tan, 15 March 2022, Drug and Alcohol Dependence.
DOI: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2022.109409

In addition to Ompad, research authors embrace Kyle Snyder, Simon Sandh, Daniel Hagen, Emily Goldmann, and Melody Goodman of NYU School of Global Public Health; Kewanda Collier of Morgan State University; and Andy Tan of the University of Pennsylvania. The analysis was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (P30DA011041, R21DA052421, and R01DA054236) and National Cancer Institute (R01CA237670).

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