Chocolate Totally Screws Up Cannabis Potency Tests - Modern Farmer

Chocolate Totally Screws Up Cannabis Potency Tests

Chocolate and cannabis are a popular pairing. Just not in a lab setting.

Photography Poring Studio on Shutterstock

With cannabis’s increasing legality, we’re discovering more and more about what’s in cannabis products.

In newly legal dispensaries, all kinds of cannabis products can be found. Many of those are edibles—designed to be eaten, rather than inhaled. One of the most common flavorings is chocolate; you can find cannabis-infused cookies, brownies, candy, and more. But new research indicates that chocolate and cannabis interact in unexpected ways.

With any mind-altering substance, be it alcohol, tobacco, or cannabis, it’s vital to have as much testing as possible to ensure that products contain exactly what they say they do, and to understand how those products will affect the consumer. Cannabis has the disadvantage of having been illegal for decades, and it’s a complex substance to begin with. So what’s the deal with this chocolate thing?

David Dawson, a researcher at cannabis testing firm CW Analytical Laboratories, conducted a study on the ways chocolate can affect cannabis testing. Dawson plans to present his full findings at a meeting of the American Chemical Society this fall, but he released some information indicating that chocolate may have some strange interactions with cannabis.

For example, he found that smaller sample sizes showed more precise readings of the level of THC—the main psychoactive substance in cannabis—than larger sample sizes. This is very weird! Typically, the larger the sample, the more accurate the test. But not here, apparently. That testing is vital; Dawson points out that California cannabis laws require some degree of accuracy. If a product, says Dawson, has a minimum of 10 percent less THC than advertised, the product label must be updated; if it has a minimum of 10 percent more THC than advertised, the entire batch has to be destroyed.

When the full study comes out, we’ll have more information on what exactly Dawson has discovered. But hopefully this will also serve as a data point, and an encouragement, in the very difficult task of learning more about how cannabis affects the human body.

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The title of this article is hyperbole considering the content does not support it.

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