April 9, 2019 -- When he arrived at the hospital by ambulance, the 70-year-old man said he felt like he was dying. He was pale, nauseated, and reported severe chest pain. "He had had hallucinations at home," says his doctor, Alexandra Saunders, MD, chief medical resident for Dalhousie University in St. John, New Brunswick, Canada. Soon, the medical team confirmed he’d had a heart attack.
He had eaten a marijuana-laced lollipop, given to him by a friend who thought it might help him sleep. "I don’t know if we can say it caused the heart attack,'' Saunders says, citing the patient's pre-existing heart disease. ''We don't have enough guidance to say what a safe dose would be."
Other health experts share her concern over CBD edibles, including chocolates, brownies and other baked goods, snacks, drinks, and even pizza.
The concern over marijuana edibles is from getting too much THC. In Colorado, where recreational use of marijuana is legal, researchers reviewed more than 2,500 cannabis-related emergency room visits from 2012 through 2016 and found that the percentage of visits was higher for inhaled cannabis, but that those using edibles were more likely to have psychiatric and cardiovascular problems.
Product labeling is an issue, too, for both hemp and marijuana CBD edibles, experts say. Consumers can't be sure that what the label lists is actually in the CBD edible. In a 2015 study, researchers evaluated 75 marijuana edibles and found only 17% accurately labeled.
Despite the popularity, neither type of CBD edible -- from hemp or marijuana -- is considered legal in the eyes of the federal government…the FDA says, it is not lawful to introduce food with added CBD or THC into interstate commerce, or to market the products either as dietary supplements or as an addition to them.