Can Drug Dogs Smell Edibles?

Although marijuana edibles are legal in 10 U.S. states, and legal for medical purposes in a majority of the country, there are still plenty of states where they remain entirely illegal. Because of this, those in these states may wonder whether or not they have to worry about a drug dog alarming law enforcement about an edible marijuana products they may be carrying. We may not smell the marijuana, but can the dogs?

“Dogs have 100,000 times more scent identification than we have, so you can train a dog to find anything as long as you associate a positive stimulus with that odor,” James Stone, R&D manager at K9 University Detection Services, told the Thrillist. . “We train dogs to isolate particular compounds in MDMA, and it’s the same with marijuana. You can mix that compound into anything and it will still alert the dog.”

Trained drug dogs have noses so sensitive that they’re capable of recognizing illicit compounds at a ratio of five parts per billion.

Dan Hayter, founder of K9 Global Training Academy, agrees that edibles aren’t impossible to trace. “A dog can be taught to recognize marijuana mixed into flour without too much difficulty,” he says.

Are drug dogs trained to detect marijuana edibles?

“We don’t train the dogs for it because we haven’t had a call for it, and I don’t know anyone else who does,” says Hayter.

Most other law enforcement officials say the same thing: Although drug dogs technically may be able to detect edibles if trained to do so, most aren’t. Law enforcement simply doesn’t see it as a large priority to train dogs to detect edibles when they are typically trying to detect large amounts of marijuana being used for distribution. And even if they are looking for personal amounts, must are looking for dry marijuana and not necessarily edibles.

What are dogs trained to detect?

Most drug enforcement agencies focus their K-9 squads on identifying marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamines, and heroin. As stated above they can find even tiny traces of cannabis mixed with a number of ingredients.

So although it is not a priority to train dogs to specifically identify edibles, depending on the way the cannabis was used in the edibles, a well-trained dog may still be able to identify the drug.

What storage is best at reducing the smell?

If you believe you may be in an area where drug dogs are and you have edibles on you and want to help reduce the possibility it’s detected, here are some potential options (though we note that none of these are guaranteed to be full proof).

  • Take the marijuana edibles and vacuum seal them in plastic. Then take it and put it in a container containing coffee beans.

Place the edibles in a container (air sealed) alongside some unwrapped mints.

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