(HealthDay News) — Most edible cannabis products sampled in 3 major U.S. cities are mislabeled, often containing more or less active ingredient than indicated on the packaging, according to a report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

For the study, researchers collected 75 different edible cannabis products — baked goods, beverages, and candy or chocolates — representing 47 different brands. The products were legally purchased from a sample of 3 medical dispensaries in each of 3 cities.

Only 17% of 75 cannabis edibles purchased in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle carried packaging that accurately reported the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the researchers found. 60% were overlabeled with respect to THC content. The researchers also found that a substantial number of the edibles did not contain detectable levels of cannabidiol (CBD). Only 13 of the 75 products labeled their CBD content at all, and all were mislabeled, according to the report.

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The researchers also noted that nearly a quarter (23%) of edible cannabis products contained more THC than expected. “It can be a miserable experience, and through the edible route of administration, that miserable experience can last many hours,” study author Ryan Vandrey, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, told HealthDay.


  1. Vandrey, R, et al. JAMA. 2015;313(24):2491-2493; doi:10.1001/jama.2015.6613.