Copycat cannabis edibles could be attractive to children and increase risk for accidental ingestion

Some cannabis edibles glimpse remarkably like well-known snack foodstuff and may be very easily bewildered for them, finds a new examine led by researchers at NYU University of World Public Well being released in Drug and Alcoholic beverages Dependence.

These “copycat” edibles also have concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC-the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis-that far exceed the limitations set by point out cannabis regulations.


At very first glance, most of the packages glimpse virtually just like familiar treats. If these copycat cannabis products and solutions are not saved safely and securely, there is the prospective for accidental ingestion by small children or grown ups.”


Danielle Ompad, associate professor of epidemiology at NYU Faculty of Global Public Overall health and the study’s lead creator


Edibles are a common and increasing phase of the hashish market. In states in which hashish use is lawful, a lot more than half (56%) of men and women who use cannabis eat edibles, with more youthful men and women additional most likely to do so.

The latest information reports have drawn attention to edibles that use comparable branding and imagery to mimic well-liked snack foodstuff. These copycat cannabis products are a community wellbeing problem presented that persons-like small children-could miscalculation them for treats and unintentionally eat them. From 2017 to 2019, U.S. Poison Handle Facilities handled nearly 2,000 circumstances of younger young children ages to 9 consuming edibles.

To achieve a further understanding of copycat edibles, the researchers collected hundreds of photographs of hashish products and analyzed their packaging, together with branding, names, imagery, and THC articles. They concentrated on pictures for 267 edibles and uncovered that 8% (22 pictures) intently resembled 13 various snack products.

Twelve of the solutions had been candies or sweet snacks (fruit chews, fruit snacks, rice and marshmallow treats, and gummies) and 1 was a salty snack (chips). Eight of the 13 packages made use of the precise manufacturer or products title of the first merchandise the remaining 5 employed names that ended up related (for instance, “Stoner Patch Dummies” as an alternative of “Sour Patch Youngsters”). Seven of the packages utilized the same cartoon or model character as the authentic product.

Most states that have legalized hashish limit the quantity of THC in edibles-normally 5 mg or 10 mg of THC per dose and 100 mg for every deal. In accordance to information stated on the packaging of the lookalike solutions, these edibles contained an normal of 459 mg of THC and a variety of 300 to 600 mg per package deal, greatly exceeding the most boundaries.

“Though every single offer is likely meant to contain multiple doses, several deals show the serving dimension or selection of servings,” claimed Ompad, who is also the deputy director of the Middle for Drug Use and HIV/HCV Investigate (CDUHR) at NYU Faculty of World Public Health and fitness. “Additionally, if we are contemplating 10 mg a regular dose, these items could incorporate an alarming 30 to 60 doses for every deal.”

The findings emphasize the risk that these copycat products and solutions could be eye-catching to young children, specified the colourful packaging and use of common branding and people.

“Policies to prevent hashish packaging from desirable to kids have not stopped copycat merchandise from getting into the sector-nor have food manufacturers having legal action towards cannabis businesses for copyright infringement,” stated Ompad. “People who order edibles that appear like snack foods must retail outlet them separately from typical snacks and out of attain of children.”


Journal reference:

Ompad, D.C., et al. (2022) Copycat and lookalike edible cannabis item packaging in the United States. Drug and Alcoholic beverages Dependence.

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