Risks of Counterfeit High-THC Edibles: A Warning to Consider
Table of Contents
The market has seen a dramatic influx of illegal products since cannabis was legalised in Thailand in 2022. A lack of solid regulations has paved the way for a proliferation of THC vapes, imported flowers, and potent THC-infused edibles.
These actions do not help build a thriving marijuana economy.
They undermine local farmers and products and contradict the purpose of cannabis legalisation itself. Moreover, these illegal items lack quality standards. This is particularly worrisome with edibles, where the absence of approved benchmarks makes it uncertain what you’re eating – including THC levels.
In focus here are these fake edibles. We’ll provide a quick overview, explain how to spot them and share tips for a safe and enjoyable cannabis experience.
What’s the deal with fake, potent edibles?
Counterfeit cannabis sweets mimic the appearance of famous brands known for their collection of harmless candies and gummies. These imitations, infused with THC potency reaching up to 600 mg, closely resemble common gummies and are packaged similarly to well-known brands like Haribo, Skittles, and Dairy Milk – but under different names.
They entered the spotlight first in the United Kingdom a few years back – and it did not go well.
These high-THC products quickly landed in the hands of children – many of whom were hospitalised. Concerned parents also raised warnings in their local communities to be on the lookout for these colourful candies – which look innocent on the outside but contain alarmingly high levels of THC.
There is also a notable absence of regulations, quality standards, or independent lab tests—standards common in places like the USA and Thailand. This backdrop highlights why opting for unregulated, illegal products like these faux edibles is risky.
What is happening in Thailand?
Thailand is also navigating a similar journey with illegal, super-potent edibles. The only difference is these came into the picture after cannabis was made legal – but no specific laws were made to dictate its trade and production.
The local market – particularly on platforms like Line and Instagram – has seen a sharp rise in counterfeit potent edibles that look like your regular sweets and candies. There are also reports of dispensaries carrying these edibles.
On first look, these smuggled items look innocent and can be just as easily mistaken for a regular gummy or jelly. Upon closer look, you see that these are being marketed on shiny labels, some claiming THC dosage as high as 600 mg.
The alarming part is that it is not just edibles or gummies being sold like this. The market has also seen cannabis concentrates like wax/shatter and high-THC cannabis oil – both of which contain high levels of THC. Products like cannabis wax/shatter are deemed illegal, while cannabis oil requires a doctor’s prescription.
The fact that you can buy these products without any approval or consultation is concerning. Youngsters and teenagers can get their hands on these potent cannabis products easily.
Even children are not immune from this; it was reported earlier this year that many kids were hospitalised after eating smuggled high-THC cannabis-infused cookies.
Since young people spend a lot of time online, where these products are mostly sold, it’s clear that their curiosity might drive them to give these items a try.
False marketing is in play
Legally speaking, cannabis edibles in Thailand must meet the following criteria:
- The edibles must be approved by the Thai Food & Drugs Administration (FDA).
- Each unit of cannabis-infused edible – whether it is a cookie, gummy, chocolate, etc. – must not contain more than 1.6 mg THC.
- Safe consumption recommendations must be made on the product label.
- Warning messages should be added to the label.
- Information like serial numbers should also be added.
When you look at these fake weed gummies and edible, you realise that hardly any of these criteria are met.
These items are being marketed to be more appealing and acceptable – particularly among the younger crowds. Catchy phrases and taglines put a sense of bravery and confidence in teenagers. It could just as easily be a dare to eat a 500 mg edible to prove that you are a god of cannabis.
This does not seem right. If anything, it gives a highly biased, one-sided picture of the plant, which may lead to more harm than good. It implies that taking 500 mg THC gummies cannot harm since cannabis has benefits to it. This is incorrect.
If you are looking for safe, legal edible options, we suggest you check out our list of top-rated cannabis gummies in Thailand.
How to identify fake cannabis edibles?
Appearances can be deceiving. While they may look like innocent sweets, some edibles can have hidden dangers. To steer clear of trouble, it’s crucial to know how to spot the telltale signs of counterfeit edibles. The main ones are mentioned below:
- Packaging discrepancies: Examine the packaging for discrepancies such as misspelled words, inconsistent fonts, or blurry logos. Often, counterfeit products are made to look like the original ones with minor differences.
- Suspicious THC levels: Be cautious of products claiming unrealistically high THC levels. If it seems too potent to be true, it probably is.
- Hidden ingredients: Authentic edibles provide clear information about dosage and ingredients. Missing or vague details are a sign to be cautious.
- No manufacturing information: Legitimate products offer insights into their manufacturing process and origins. A lack of such information could indicate a counterfeit product.
- Unreliable sources: Avoid products from questionable websites or sellers on social media. Stick to reputable and licensed sources & dispensaries for your cannabis needs.
- Too good to be cheap: Quality weed edibles come at a cost. If the cost is too good to be true, it may be a bogus product.
- Youthful targeting: Flashy, youth-oriented branding often indicates an attempt to attract a younger audience. Authentic products prioritise responsible marketing.
- Lack of lab testing: Trustworthy brands subject their products to lab testing for quality and safety. Consider it a risk if there’s no information about lab tests.
What happens if you eat a lot of THC?
You might have heard that no one has ever died from consuming too much THC. Unlike other substances, you can’t technically “overdose” on THC. But that doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods if you decide to go all out on those high-THC edibles.
Edibles are a lot stronger than smoking marijuana. They hit you harder because your body – specifically your liver – metabolises weed to produce a super-strong chemical that gets you higher than your regular THC.
This process also takes time, which is why people take a lot of edibles, thinking they do not feel anything. When they all start affecting you, it can be uncomfortable.
Let’s dive into what could happen if end up taking too many edibles:
- Expect extreme confusion that might make you question your existence.
- Anxiety and paranoia could skyrocket, leaving you feeling like you’re trapped in a never-ending loop of worries. You feel like this will never end.
- Being unable to move or feeling incredibly dizzy, nauseous, or drowsy.
- Your judgment and sense of coordination are severely affected.
- The effects can last for a couple of days. At doses like 500 mg, you can be incredibly high for a whole day, followed by the lazy, dull feeling for another day or two.
- Those illegal edibles you’re eyeing may not just contain THC. It can be spiked with other harmful substances.
Lastly, your brain doesn’t fully stop developing until around age 25. Regularly feeding it with potent cannabis during your teenage years can seriously mess up its development. It can impact your cognitive abilities and even stir up mental health problems down the line.
Remember that THC affects everyone differently; some people’s bodies are better at handling weed, while others are more sensitive to it. That’s why experimenting with these potent marijuana edibles may seem cool, but in reality, it is not.
What can you do if you have taken too many edibles?
There are also certain things you can do to sober up – like drinking water, going for a walk, or taking a cold shower.
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you’re feeling seriously uncomfortable after a THC overload, don’t hesitate to seek medical help. It might feel embarrassing, but doctors have seen their fair share of similar cases. It’s way better to be safe than sorry.
In most cases, the high will pass with time. You will come out of it as a more mature person, having learnt a valuable lesson about not overdoing THC.
Many illegal cannabis products are being sold online. They offer strong marijuana edibles and such, which can be risky. High THC levels mean you need to be careful, and these products haven’t been tested or approved, so their quality isn’t guaranteed. They seem to target young people with flashy packaging and suggestive descriptions.
At Weed Review, we’re creating a rich collection of information to teach people about both the positives and negatives of cannabis. Marijuana can be beneficial when used responsibly.
Join us in exploring cannabis the right way. Discover legal, regulated products that offer the psychoactive thrill you seek without going overboard. Your body and mind will thank you.