Rip-off: Experiment Brings Edible Potency Into Question…Are They Really THAT Strong?

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The controversy that surrounds edibles seems to be on a path to some sort of eventual legislation that will require strict standards and regulations. But until then, testing for potency of edible products comes few and far between. According to an article in The Oregonian/OregonLive, one scientist did the research and found that most edibles actually aren’t as potent as advertised.

After his testing, scientist Rodger Voelker also went as far as to say that “errors are possible even in well-run labs doing their best to verify results.” Because of that, he expects those labs to release mixed results, where some products might turn out to be far less potent than their labels claim, while others might be much stronger. But when Voelker recently tested 15 marijuana-infused products at request of The Oregonian/OregonLive, he found that the majority of products were far less potent than advertised.

Voelker’s research found that a dozen of the edible items had less THC than their labels claimed. Two products were stronger than advertised. One item, a chocolate candy, was accurate. Prior to his research, “eight marijuana-testing laboratories performed at least one of the original state-mandated tests on the products purchased by The Oregonian/OregonLive. Some of the products listed multiple labs on their labels; others didn’t list a lab at all.”

Voelker admitted that “without clear standards and regulation over labs, consumers have no choice but to trust that the product they’re consuming has undergone adequate testing.”

He added, “What we are getting at here is that the use of the term ‘rigorously tested’ has no meaning. What we are dealing with here is just somebody’s word.”

So if an edible product isn’t as potent as advertised, what’s the big deal. Voelker explained that even though the product may not do someone harm, it becomes a situation where the consumer isn’t getting what they paid for. Voelker said, “In these cases, they actually paid for that THC and it’s not there. They got ripped off.”


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Richard Lowe

Richard Lowe is a 14-year veteran of the financial sector with licenses as a commodity broker (Series 3) and investment advisor representative (IAR Series 65). Along with a focus on raising capital for the firms he was employed with, he also wrote and edited much of the content published by them. He holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts. He has been a longtime advocate for marijuana legalization due to the social injustices associated with marijuana prohibition and the strong potential for the medicinal benefits of cannabis.

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