FEB 11, 2020 6:22 AM PST

Traffic Light System Best Way to Label Cannabis Edibles

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

Cannabis products have become increasingly popular. Yet, as they are still relatively new to the market, research has found that most consumers don’t know how to properly identify doses of their psychoactive ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), from current packaging alone. This may then lead to overdosing. 

David Hammond, one of the study’s authors, said, "We've known for many years that people struggle to understand the numbers on the back of food packages and cigarette packages. Consumers seem to have equal or even more difficulty with THC numbers, which are used to indicate the potency of cannabis products...Effective THC labelling and packaging could help reduce to accidental over-consumption of cannabis edibles and adverse events, which have increased in jurisdiction that have legalized recreational cannabis."

In their research, Hammond and his team at the University of Waterloo, Canada, conducted two experiments on 870 Canadians aged between 16 and 30. In the first experiment, they randomly assigned participants to respond to three labeling systems. The first had no label while the second showed THC quantities in milligrams (mg) , and the third showed THC doses per package. 

From this experiment, the researchers found that just 6% were able to identify serving sizes on products without labels, whereas 77% could identify THC potency when dosages were listed in mg. Meanwhile, 54% were able to identify THC levels when the number of doses per package were mentioned.  

To make dosage recognition easier, the researchers then tried out a traffic light system to label the products. During this experiment, green was used to indicate low potency, whereas red suggested high potency and yellow moderate. 

In the end, they found that the traffic light system was the most effective way in communicating THC quantities to the participants. Using this system, 85% correctly understood when THC products had a low potency, while 86% correctly recognized those with high potency. 

Hammond said, "New regulations that limit cannabis edibles to a maximum of 10 mg per package are particularly important given that most consumers do not understand THC numbers...However, the findings suggest that consumers will need easier-to-understand THC information for other products, including oils, concentrates and dried flowers."

 

Sources: Science Daily, Science Direct and Prosper CBD News 

 

About the Author
  • Science writer with keen interests in technology and behavioral biology. Her current focus is on the interplay between these fields to create meaningful interactions, applications and environments.
You May Also Like
JUL 08, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
CBD Helps Dogs With Osteoarthritis Stay More Active
JUL 08, 2020
CBD Helps Dogs With Osteoarthritis Stay More Active
It’s estimated that up to a fifth of dogs above the age of one are afflicted with osteoarthritis, which causes inf ...
AUG 11, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
High THC Cannabis Linked to Anxiety
AUG 11, 2020
High THC Cannabis Linked to Anxiety
Researchers have found that people who use strains of cannabis high in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive comp ...
AUG 28, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
CBD-Infused Drinks Not up To Scratch
AUG 28, 2020
CBD-Infused Drinks Not up To Scratch
A new analysis suggests that if you buy up a CBD-laced beverage you might not get what you were expecting. Not that any ...
SEP 20, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Can Cannabis be Used to Treat Autism?
SEP 20, 2020
Can Cannabis be Used to Treat Autism?
Currently, the consensus on whether cannabis may be used to treat autism is mixed. While some papers show signs of its p ...
OCT 20, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Legal Cannabis Does Not Increase THC Overdose in Dogs
OCT 20, 2020
Legal Cannabis Does Not Increase THC Overdose in Dogs
Researchers have found that whether or not cannabis is legal does not affect the rate at which dogs are hospitalized for ...
NOV 08, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Can Cannabis Treat Epilepsy?
NOV 08, 2020
Can Cannabis Treat Epilepsy?
There has been growing interest in recent years for cannabis to treat central nervous system disorders. And so far, ther ...
Loading Comments...