copycat edible cannabis

‘Copycat’ edible cannabis harms children, so says Health Canada. They’re warning cannabis consumers to only purchase cannabis that is “legal and regulated’ from “authorized retailers” who provide products in “plain packaging with child-resistant features.”

Now, for the non-consumer or occasional consumer, this sounds reasonable. You wouldn’t purchase whiskey in an unlabeled bottle made in someone’s bathtub. And you certainly wouldn’t leave this unmarked bottle around children, where it can be mistaken for iced tea.

But for many, cannabis is a vegetable. Imagine if Health Canada warned that purchasing vegetables from “unregulated” farmers’ markets could put your children’s health at risk. That you should only buy from one of Canada’s large grocery conglomerates?

That’s how cannabis connoisseurs feel about cannabis in Canada.

Of course, the issue here is ‘copycat’ edible cannabis. Health Canada is concerned that illicit edible products appeal to children by mimicking popular brand names.

Like how Mike’s Hard Lemonade may appeal to children. Or how certain bottles of wine have cartoons drawn on the label. Or how beer commercials show young, healthy-looking adults having fun instead of a lonely, depressed alcoholic with a protruding beer gut slumped on his couch watching Netflix.

This double standard with cannabis is infuriating. This is why Health Canada’s ‘copycat’ edible cannabis warning rings hollow.

Besides, it’s entirely the federal government’s fault these products are even popular.

‘Copycat’ Edible Cannabis Harms Children: Health Canada

Copycat Edible Cannabis

We’ll get into how edible cannabis allegedly “harms” children. But for now, let’s examine why these ‘copycat’ edible cannabis products are the fault of Ottawa’s “public health” approach to cannabis legalization.

As we’ve discussed before, Canada’s edible cannabis limit is 10 milligrams per serving. This makes edibles one of the least popular categories of cannabis products. Compare this with how popular edibles are in many legal American states, where no limit exists.

Canadians either make their own edibles, buy potent extracts instead, or purchase “illicit” products.

The “affected products” include Stoneo, an Oreo edible. Also included are ‘copycat’ edible cannabis versions of:

  • Cheetos
  • Nerds
  • Froot Loops
  • Skittles
  • Starburst
  • Ruffles
  • Doritos
  • Fritos
  • Jolly Ranchers
  • Sour Patch Kids
  • Airheads
  • Twinkies
  • Fruit Gushers
  • Maynard candies

Health Canada suggests Canadians with these products discard them and contact their local authorities. We recommend Canadians with these products consume them and leave us a comment with your review.

Also, if you have children: keep them out of reach.

Just like you would with the thousands of other household items that can seriously harm a child. Should the federal government ban tide pods because they may “appeal” to children?

Health Canada should be learning a lesson here: you can’t alter demand by affecting supply.

Canadians want edible cannabis. They don’t want ineffective chocolates capped at 10mg per piece. They want candy and cereal, and chips. Recreational users want higher doses. Medical patients need higher doses.

This underground market of edible cannabis is a direct result of the “public health” approach to edible cannabis. 

Today’s cannabis temperance movement thinks they can save people from themselves by limiting their access to goods and services. But all they’ve done is create a black market. One that doesn’t require packaging with “child-resistant features.”

But What About the Children!?

Consuming copycat edible cannabis disrupts a child's delicate hormonal balance, negatively affecting growth and puberty

Won’t somebody please think of the children? 

Consuming cannabis can adversely affect a child’s body due to their developing physiology. As the liver metabolizes cannabinoids, the body can become overwhelmed and thus lead to liver damage and inflammation.

In severe cases, it can even lead to hepatitis or cirrhosis.

Consuming ‘copycat’ edible cannabis disrupts a child’s delicate hormonal balance, negatively affecting growth and puberty. In girls, it can lead to irregularities in the menstrual cycle.

‘Copycat’ edible cannabis contains empty calories and no nutritional value. Consuming these products displace essential nutrients, leading to deficiencies in vitamins and minerals crucial to growth and development.

Children who consume cannabis are more prone to accidents, risky behaviour, injury, and (for teens) engaging in unsafe sexual activities.

Cannabis is also a diuretic, increasing urine production and promoting dehydration. Not to mention, consuming excess amounts of cannabis will kill you… wait a second. I’m thinking of alcohol.

All of the above is true when children consume alcohol. And yet, a side-by-side comparison of cannabis restrictions versus alcohol regulations paints a pretty sad picture.

Health Canada either has an unscientific, irrational fear of cannabis. Or, they don’t actually care about the children.

Or the third option, people are familiar with alcohol, whereas cannabis is a brand-new substance for many people. Cultural norms ensure parents keep alcohol from children. The same isn’t true for cannabis.

Of course, none of that is true. One major source of alcohol acquisition for a teen is their parents.

But if the above is true, and all parents are responsible all the time, shouldn’t Health Canada’s role be promoting new cannabis cultural norms? As opposed to fear-mongering about ‘copycat’ edible cannabis and alleged harms?

How Does ‘Copycat’ Edible Cannabis Harm Children?

 'Copycat' Edible Cannabis

How does ‘copycat’ edible cannabis harm children? According to Health Canada, cannabis “poisonings” in children are life-threatening. They warn that hospitals could put your child on a ventilator.

Ventilators are medical devices used when an individual has problems breathing independently. Of course, like anything in life, there are no solutions, only trade-offs. While a ventilator can save a life, complications can occur.

Especially when, as we saw during covid, prolonged and invasive ventilation resulted in lung damage, including infections like pneumonia and barotrauma, or death.

Health Canada admits that “there have been no fatal cases reported in Canada to date,” but that there have been international cases of “paediatric cannabis poisoning leading to death.”

It does not reference or link to one of these cases. But in every case, we found there were other contributing factors. For example, cannabis raises your heart rate. For a young child with a developing heart, consuming a 1000mg edible may seriously harm them.

But then again, for a child with epilepsy, that 1000mg edible may be lifesaving compared to the weak 10mg the government offers medical patients.

To date, no one has ever died from an overdose of cannabis. And because of how cannabis works in the body, it’s debatable whether a fatal overdose is even possible.

Adults can handle large cannabinoid doses because their body weight and tolerance are better than a child’s. As well, an adult’s developmental stage is complete.

Ideally, a growing brain wouldn’t be ingesting substances like cannabis, refined sugar, or processed carbohydrates.

THC vs. Refined Sugar

 'Copycat' Edible Cannabis

Come to think of it, these ‘copycat’ edible cannabis brands are bad for children whether they contain THC or not.

Look at the ingredients of your average Oreo cookie:

Sugars (sugar, glucose-fructose), Wheat flour, Modified palm oil, Vegetable oil, Cocoa, Wheat and/or corn starch, Salt, Soy lecithin, Baking soda, Ammonium bicarbonate, Unsweetened chocolate, artificial flavour. Contains: Wheat, Soy.

Is this something you really should be giving to a developing body and mind? Isn’t it alarming that we find it perfectly normal to have children as young as two years old addicted to sugar?

Health Canada needs to get their heads out of their asses. Stop punishing adults for what children might do. 

And if children are the #1 concern, dissuade them from these brand names. Whether Sour Patch Kids have THC in them is not the issue.

Processed candy is an adult-only treat. If Health Canada cared about the health and safety of children, they’d be issuing a public advisory about sugar, not cannabis.