JAN 19, 2023 3:00 PM PST

If You Consume Edibles, Here's What to Watch Out For

WRITTEN BY: Helaine Krysik

As cannabis legalization has become increasingly widespread over the last several years, ingesting edibles has become one of the most popular ways of consuming THC and CBD. However, while the risk of overconsumption due to the delayed onset time of edibles is common, it is not the biggest risk that consumers need to watch out for when eating weed gummies or brownies.

Synthetic cannabinoids, otherwise known as fake weed, are human-made chemicals created to mimic the effects of THC. These fake cannabinoids are typically infused into edible products, sprayed on dried plant material that can be smoked, or sold as liquid for vaping.

Edibles are a popular category in which fake weed is sold since it is so easy to disguise the synthetic cannabinoids in the product. As a result, fake weed has been increasingly turning up worldwide in gummies, sweets, and other edibles, products that are marketed and sold as containing real, traditional THC.

Authorities are concerned because fake weed is not safe. It can affect the brain more intensely than real THC. Additionally, since these fake cannabinoids are created in an unlicensed lab, they are not regulated, and their effects can be unpredictable, dangerous, and life-threatening. Consumers who ingest products containing fake weed may experience severe side effects such as rapid heart rate, vomiting, agitation, confusion, or hallucinations.

It is important that consumers buy their products, especially edibles, from a licensed, reputable dispensary so that they can avoid accidentally buying synthetic cannabinoids. A dispensary – one that has been licensed by the state in which it resides - will confirm that the products they sell have been created and tested by licensed facilities, and that all ingredients are real, safe, and accurately accounted for. Dispensaries will also help consumers avoid fake products and any associated health risks.


Sources: National Institute on Drug Abuse, Food Safety News, CDC

About the Author
Bachelor's (BA/BS/Other)
Helaine is a cannabis industry writer and marketing consultant. She has been active in the Illinois cannabis industry since 2020, and writes for a variety of national publications.
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