Cannabis for use in producing edibles can come in many forms from loose plant material, kilo bricks, buds to cannabis resin (hashish) and hash oil. Preparation for extraction involves drying, grinding and dissolving to release the medicinal cannabinoid fingerprints to be used in everything from brownies, cookies, and lollipops to gummies. Cannabis contains over 400 different chemical compounds including more than 100 cannabinoids (1) with different strains and growing conditions determining the cannabinoid concentration. As the plant ages, degradation alters some of these compounds and, their medicinal properties.
The current focus in the analysis of cannabis-infused edibles has been on THC and less frequently on CBD content. The potency of a cannabis-infused edible has been identified by its THC concentration. Current labeling requirements in states allowing recreational cannabis use vary and laws may require total milligrams delta-9-THC and the number of servings per package with a recommended 10 mg THC per serving (2).
Because cannabis is illegal at the federal level, no federal quality control, labeling, and food safety regulations are mandated. Despite the value of CBD/cannabidiol in edibles, few manufacturers report CBD content and if they do, it can be just as inaccurate as THC labeling.
Inaccuracies in labeling and inconsistencies in formulation were reviewed in the Denver Post in 2014 (3). The actual THC content differed significantly from the