is delta 8 cbdDecember 15, 2021
Here are 5 things you should know about delta-8 THC to keep you and those you care for safe from products that may pose serious health risks:
If you think you are having a serious side effect that is an immediate danger to your health, call 9-1-1 or go to your local emergency room. Health care professionals and patients are encouraged to report complaints and cases of accidental exposure and adverse events to the FDA’s MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:
Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as delta-8 THC, is a psychoactive substance found in the Cannabis sativa plant, of which marijuana and hemp are two varieties. Delta-8 THC is one of over 100 cannabinoids produced naturally by the cannabis plant but is not found in significant amounts in the cannabis plant. As a result, concentrated amounts of delta-8 THC are typically manufactured from hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD).
2. The FDA has received adverse event reports involving delta-8 THC-containing products.
Manufacturers are packaging and labeling these products in ways that may appeal to children (gummies, chocolates, cookies, candies, etc.). These products may be purchased online, as well as at a variety of retailers, including convenience stores and gas stations, where there may not be age limits on who can purchase these products. As discussed above, there have been numerous poison control center alerts involving pediatric patients who were exposed to delta-8 THC-containing products. Additionally, animal poison control centers have indicated a sharp overall increase in accidental exposure of pets to these products. Keep these products out of reach of children and pets.
The natural amount of delta-8 THC in hemp is very low, and additional chemicals are needed to convert other cannabinoids in hemp, like CBD, into delta-8 THC (i.e., synthetic conversion). Concerns with this process include:
Delta-8 THC has psychoactive and intoxicating effects, similar to delta-9 THC (i.e., the component responsible for the “high” people may experience from using cannabis). The FDA is aware of media reports of delta-8 THC products getting consumers “high.” The FDA is also concerned that delta-8 THC products likely expose consumers to much higher levels of the substance than are naturally occurring in hemp cannabis raw extracts. Thus, historical use of cannabis cannot be relied upon in establishing a level of safety for these products in humans.
National poison control centers received 661 exposure cases of delta-8 THC products between January 2018 and July 31, 2021, 660 of which occurred between January 1, 2021, and July 31, 2021. Of the 661 exposure cases:
The FDA is aware of the growing concerns surrounding delta-8 THC products currently being sold online and in stores. These products have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA for safe use in any context. Some concerns include variability in product formulations and product labeling, other cannabinoid and terpene content, and variable delta-8 THC concentrations. Additionally, some of these products may be labeled simply as “hemp products,” which may mislead consumers who associate “hemp” with “non-psychoactive.” Furthermore, the FDA is concerned by the proliferation of products that contain delta-8 THC and are marketed for therapeutic or medical uses, although they have not been approved by the FDA. Selling unapproved products with unsubstantiated therapeutic claims is not only a violation of federal law, but also can put consumers at risk, as these products have not been proven to be safe or effective. This deceptive marketing of unproven treatments raises significant public health concerns because patients and other consumers may use them instead of approved therapies to treat serious and even fatal diseases.
It is important for consumers to be aware that delta-8 THC products have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA for safe use in any context. They may be marketed in ways that put the public health at risk and should especially be kept out of reach of children and pets.
Why is the FDA notifying the public about delta-8 THC?
A combination of factors has led the FDA to provide consumers with this information. These factors include:
From December 2020 through July 2021, the FDA received adverse event reports from both consumers and law enforcement describing 22 patients who consumed delta-8 THC products; of these, 14 presented to a hospital or emergency room for treatment following the ingestion. Of the 22 patients, 19 experienced adverse events after ingesting delta-8 THC-containing food products (e.g., brownies, gummies). Adverse events included vomiting, hallucinations, trouble standing, and loss of consciousness.
The FDA is actively working with federal and state partners to further address the concerns related to these products and monitoring the market for product complaints, adverse events, and other emerging cannabis-derived products of potential concern. The FDA will warn consumers about public health and safety issues and take action, when necessary, when FDA-regulated products violate the law.
For more information about Delta-8 THC: CDC HEALTH ALERT NETWORK (HAN)
1. Delta-8 THC products have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA for safe use and may be marketed in ways that put the public health at risk.
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So far, none of the Delta-8 vendors or distributors contacted for this article reported any changes in vendor, distributor, or customer attitudes as a result of the FDA/CDC warnings. But they did interpret the federal agencies’ warning as a clear sign.
COMMERCE CITY CO – JANUARY 31: Members of the Drug Enforcement Administration raided two homes . [+] side-by-side, in an assumed illegal marijuana operation, on January 31, 2019 in Commerce City, Colorado. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
But maybe not for much longer.
But when a crackdown comes, Friesen believes the FDA will start with cease-and-desist orders aimed at a select few Delta-8 companies, starting with the biggest or the most unscrupulous—a near-repeat of how the FDA cracked down on the CBD industry.
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But the federal government may also take action. For years, the FDA has been mulling standards and regulations for CBD products. Since Delta-8 has intoxicating, psychoactive properties, the FDA may move more swiftly. The other compounding factor is that since Delta-8 THC products first appeared about two years ago, the market is flooded with companies offering the product—often without age restrictions.
Unlike products that may appear in truck stops and seedier locations—such as the very products the CDC and FDA warned about on Tuesday—ATLRx products are lab tested and have unique QR codes that provide “full panel” lab results, he said.
The warnings echo advisories issued over the past decade about “regular” adult-use cannabis products containing THC—triggered by people, sometimes children but frequently adults, who overconsumed.
Packs of their Vance Global “guilt-free smokes” now appear in 12,000 stores across the country, they claim. But the market is fickle and consumer tastes shift quickly. So after the CBD boom fizzled into a bust, Battles pivoted to Delta-8 THC, the hemp-derived cannabinoid that’s nearly identical to the “real” THC in marijuana banned under federal law.
Battles suspects a similar phenomenon is at play. “Those people in the hospital, they were there because they were too high, more than likely,” he said.
“If you eat too much, you’ll freak out, especially if you don’t have a tolerance. That’s just naturally going to happen,” he said. “But there are a lot of bad actors out there who are not properly manufacturing Delta-8 themselves.”
The other major difference—and the one that spells trouble for the Delta-8 THC industry—is that unlike CBD, Delta-8 products get you wrecked.
“It’s kind of that first blow against the industry,” Battles said. “They kind of did the same thing with CBD.”
On Tuesday, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration published warnings advising the public of “serious health risks” posed by Delta-8 THC products.
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Last month, Vance Global released a line of Delta-8 THC gummies that are “as highly potent as possible,” said Battles, who wanted to avoid the predictable complaints from unsatisfied (and un-stoned) customers who weren’t getting their money’s worth.
Looming over all of this, of course, is federal cannabis legalization. If the Delta-9 THC in marijuana was legal, demand for Delta-8 THC—a synthetic product, created to fulfill the market inefficiency posed by drug prohibition—would evaporate. If federal marijuana legalization happens, Delta-8 will be a nonfactor.
For now, the Delta-8 market is unaffected. If anything, the FDA may have unintentionally heightened awareness and interest.
According to the FDA, between December 2020 and July 2021, poison-control centers received 660 calls from people who consumed Delta-8 THC—many unintentionally, almost all of them children, dozens of whom were hospitalized with very familiar-sounding symptoms: lethargy, slurred speech, erratic heart rates, sedation, and even “coma.”
Delta-8 THC absolutely gets you high, but since the source product is hemp, Delta-8 products remain federally legal—and can be found in smoke shops, novelty stores, bodegas, gas stations and online all over the United States.
As health agencies indicated on Tuesday, the federal government is finally taking notice of this glaring loophole in federal drug law. And hemp industry players believe action may soon follow.
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UNITED STATES – SEPTEMBER 5: Hemp grows at Murray State Universitys hemp field in Murray, Ky., on . [+] Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
It would not be the first. To date, 16 states have banned or restricted sales of Delta-8 products, including cannabis-friendly states like Colorado, Michigan, and Nevada. Bans in those states is motivated in part by complaints from the adult-use cannabis industry, which rightly views Delta-8 THC products as an existential threat.
August Battles was barely out of high school when he and a friend decided to capitalize on the 2018 Farm Bill—in which Congress and President Donald Trump legalized an American hemp industry—and started selling “CBD cigarettes,” smokes containing the low-THC, high(er) CBD cultivar of cannabis sativa that’s legal under federal law.
One big difference is that unlike tightly regulated adult-use cannabis, Delta-8 THC is wholly unregulated. And, as the FDA pointed out, there are no requirements around labeling or product quality or safety.
“Half a gummy will put you on your ass,” he promised. And so when the CDC and FDA indicated they were watching, Battles “definitely wasn’t surprised.”
“The FDA is reacting like it does every time,” said Lo Friesen, the founder and CEO of HeyLo Cannabis, a licensed, adult-use cannabis company headquartered in Washington. “But this one is heightened in scope because it’s everywhere.”
The same was true with products containing CBD. And the FDA also cracked down on CBD products, but for mislabeling products or making claims about health benefits unsupported by research.
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Regardless of what method you choose, the standard advice is to “start low and go slow.” You don’t want to overwhelm yourself with too high of a dose. Most beginners start with about 10 mg of Delta 8 before increasing as needed.
How Do I Take Delta 8?
All animals—both vertebrate and invertebrate alike—have been found to have endocannabinoid systems (ECS). So it’s not something unique to humans. It can be found across the entire natural world.
While Delta 8 products are legal on a federal level, there have been over a dozen states that have moved forward with banning them.
Most brands use a supercritical CO2 process to isolate and extract the cannabinoids from hemp. However, there are some unique challenges regarding Delta 8 extraction in particular.
The short answer is yes, you may feel some effects from Delta 8 THC. It’s a psychoactive compound after all. However, it’s not what you would experience with Delta 9 THC, which is the cannabinoid that most people are more familiar with. For starters, it’s a far more mellow and mild buzz. Most tend to report feeling relaxed and clear-headed after taking Delta 8.
One of the biggest issues is that naturally occurring Delta 8 THC is a rare substance. It only accounts for 0.1% of the compounds found in the hemp plant.
Delta 8 can be bought in most shops and dispensaries in the states in which it’s legal. Yet, these places are where you might run into some subpar products. Overall the safest place to acquire Delta 8 products is online. This is because the best Delta 8 brands online provide independent lab results and customer reviews for you to check out before making a purchase. That way you can make sure that they’re safe and free of any contaminants. Everest , for example, is transparent about how their products are made; they also have customer service on hand to answer any of your questions. This is a sign of a company that cares about its customers and is confident about the quality of their products.
Here are the states where sale/use of Delta 8 is restricted, as of June 2021:
Where Does Delta 8 Come From?
So what often happens is that Delta 8 is synthesized from CBD. This is possible since both Delta 8 is technically an isomer of CBD. That means the two compounds share the exact same atoms, just in a different arrangement. Through the atomic rearrangement of CBD, Delta 8 can be made in higher quantities.
Delta 8 is a cannabinoid that is extracted from cannabis plants. Most of the time it comes from hemp specifically, rather than marijuana. It also tends to occur in very small amounts.
It’s always recommended to talk to your doctor before consuming any Delta 8 products. If you are currently taking any prescription medications, there’s a possibility that it might cause an adverse interaction. So it’s better to ask a medical professional for their advice first.
But what exactly is Delta 8?
Delta 8 is currently all the rage right now among cannabis enthusiasts. You can find any number of Delta 8 THC-infused products across the internet. They range from tinctures to softgels to gummies to all sorts of other edibles.
How Are Delta 8 Products Made?
The ECS has two primary types of cannabinoid receptors, known as CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are typically found in brain cells and throughout the nervous system, while CB2 receptors are found in the body and immune system.
To explain how cannabinoids such as Delta 8 work, first we need to talk about the endocannabinoid system.
Delta 8 comes in a variety of different forms. So your choice will depend on whatever you feel most comfortable with.
It should be noted that the scientific research regarding Delta 8 is still ongoing and inconclusive. However, the results so far have been promising, as the cannabinoid has been found to have a wide range of benefits for its users.
We would also suggest doing as much research as possible. Given that Delta 8 is still fairly new, we’re likely to learn a lot more about it in the coming years. The best way to protect yourself is to stay informed!
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