Researchers Find The Best Way To Communicate THC Information To Young Consumers Of Cannabis Edibles


The popularity of cannabis in Canada has surged significantly but unsurprisingly so. Most jurisdictions don’t only allow the medical but also the recreational use of the herb. This has given rise to overdosage and hence, accidents since people of all ages are consuming cannabis products and doing so without noting what the label reads.

Apart from adults, even youngsters are using cannabis. And cannabis is not the best, even for medicinal reasons, for young adults. A bigger issue is that most young people are taking cannabis edibles. This means they are choosing products such as cannabis cookies, treats, and such. However, they are not well aware of the content of THC in these products.

Why? Because they cannot understand what the label means. A new study has come up with an effective method of labeling THC on cannabis products. This will enable people to interpret how much THC a product contains which can prevent overconsumption and adverse effects.

Diving Into The Research Work

Researchers from Canada conducted a two-part survey to investigate how well young people understood the labeling of THC on cannabis edibles. Most youngsters do not understand the meaning of THC potency of cannabis products. The team of scientists was aware that people find it challenging to understand the labeling of ingredients on even food products.

Scientists conducted an online survey in which 870 people in the age bracket of 16 to 30 participated. In the first part, participants were randomly assigned to respond to 3 different labeling systems. The first system didn’t have any label, the second one showed the amount of THC in milligrams, and the third one showed the doses of THC per package.

In the second part of the survey, researchers employed a traffic light system for labeling cannabis products. Accordingly, the color green indicated low potency whereas red hinted at high potency. Researchers also looked at the effectiveness of products that did not have any labels, that which showed the amount of THC present in percentage, and finally those that were labeled in milligrams.

Findings Of The Study

The analysis of scientists revealed that people understood the amount of THC present in cannabis edibles best when the number of doses per package were mentioned. More than 54% of the respondents understood this mode of labeling correctly.

Furthermore, participants also understood the labeling of THC through the traffic light system. 85% of participants correctly understood low potency THC whereas 86% recognized high content of THC.

Hence, researchers concluded, “Few consumers can understand and apply quantitative THC labeling; in contrast, THC labels that provide ‘interpretive’ information, such as descriptors, symbols, or references to servings have greater efficacy.”

When people are better able to understand THC labeling, this lowers the risk of overconsumption and accompanying adverse side effects. The Drug and Alcohol Dependence journal published this research work.

Sum Up

Young consumers are not able to understand the labeling of THC on cannabis edibles. A new research work has found that indicating the amount of THC present through traffic light system is the best way to covey information to customers.


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