Photo : Justin Sullivan ( Getty Images]  Your next edible chocolate container may be more or less powerful than the label, new preliminary research suggests. He finds that sometimes chocolate-based products can provide inconsistent readings in the laboratory for the amount of THC contained in them.
Scientists at CW Analytical, a California cannabis testing lab, began to notice that their THC potency – the chemical most associated with high weeds – from the same edible chocolate sometimes diverged from one of another. This made them experiment. They tested two different concentrations of ground milk chocolate from one THC consumable force: a sample of 1000 milligrams and a sample of 2000 milligrams. They also conducted comparative tests using different volumes of a typical solvent.
Regardless of the amount of solvent used, the team found that the average sample readings of 1000 milligrams are higher and more accurate than those extracted from 2000 milligrams of samples. The team's findings were presented
presented this week at the Annual Conference of the American Chemical Society (ACS).
"This is quite surprising – it definitely contradicts what I would consider to be the main statistical representation of samples," lead author David Dawson told a news conference
on Tuesday. "Theoretically, if you had more chocolate in a bottle, you should get a more representative idea of the sample."
Further, Dawson and his team conducted experiments where they mixed in cannabis-free chocolate with known amounts of THC, and once again the more chocolate there was in the bottle, the less accurate the readings were. This strongly suggests that something about the chocolate itself causes misreadings.
The results of the study have not yet been reviewed, so there is still little skepticism. And Dawson does not believe that any of the potential label discrepancies they have found would be a danger to society (though the foods themselves may be
less safe than other forms of cannabis use). But assuming the findings are true, they could be a nuisance for cannabis testing labs and the industry as a whole.
In California, for example, edible test products should be very close to the THC labeled value. If the product is less powerful than advertised, it can cause expensive associated labeling; if higher, the entire food supply may be destroyed.
"It's not a public health problem – it's not that crazy about the dose difference," Dawson said. "The actual chocolate bar can be 5 percent stronger than the value if it comes into play. [But] this can erroneously lead to a failure of the manufacturers, which may force them to re-raise themselves. "
More work needs to be done to find a reliable way to guarantee accurate THC readings in their tests," Dawson said. This will include finding out exactly what causes the inaccurate reading in chocolate. But based on experiments done so far with chocolate bars, cocoa powder, baking chocolate and white chocolate, the team's primary suspect is the abundance of sources of fat found in chocolate. THC, Dawson noted, is known to be soluble in fat, so that sufficient fat in the sample can interfere with the recovery of THC through their current testing methods.
Meanwhile, it appears that smaller chocolate samples (1000 milligrams) are still accurate enough to test, though Dawson describes it as a "ribbon-assist" strategy for now.
"Obviously the bigger goal is to alleviate the problem completely," he said.