A super hot topic right now is Delta-8 THC. Have you tried it? It's everywhere and it's legal. No need for a medical card, no need for a dispensary. Walk into just about any liquor store or gas station and you'll find Delta-8 gummies or drops.
This topic keeps coming up more often and I have customers that ask me for it. As much as I'd love to hop on the bandwagon because CBD companies are making a boatload of money from it, we can not in good concious sell it to you. Delta-8 THC is synthetic which is not on brand for my company or for myself. It is not natural and it could be bad for you. It's synthetic. YUCK. Your body doesn't know what to do with it.... I digress, here are some facts.
Delta 8 has the promise of everything good. It is showing the same therapeutic potential as regular THC (Delta-9) with less psycho-activity. It gets you high, just not as high as naturally occurring Delta-9 THC. Before we go into the details of why it may be harmful, let me share with you why it's legal.
Thank you 2018 Farm Bill
Hemp-derived cannabis products are legal under federal law, thanks in large part to the 2018 Farm Bill broadly legalizing hemp production. So, Delta-8 THC is federally legal as long as it is extracted naturally from hemp.
A California federal appeals court ruled last week that Delta-8 THC and other cannabinoids derived from hemp are legal under the 2018 Farm Bill, even if the substances have psychoactive properties. In an opinion from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals quoted by cannabis news site, Marijuana Moment, products made with Delta-8 THC are generally legal under federal law, which defines hemp as “any part of” the cannabis plant, including “all derivatives, extracts, [and] cannabinoids,” that contains less than 0.3 percent Delta-9 THC by weight.
Naturally extracted? (then, converted) Why is this harmful?
But here's the issue, mass produced Delta-8 THC (anywhere you are buying it is massed produced) is synthetically made from CBD through an isomerization process. There's not enough naturally occurring Delta-8 THC in the hemp plant, so they lab create it from CBD.
The conversion of CBD to Delta-8 is not a natural process. Many of the isomers and byproducts formed during the conversion are not naturally occurring, produced in the synthetic reaction to isomerize CBD to THC, which leads to both legal and consumer safety issues arising from what are essentially unknown contaminants.
Chris Hudalla from Pro Verde labs explains: "Synthesis is not a singular chemical reaction, but rather a system of parallel competing reactions, resulting in multiple synthetic outcomes. Many of the isomers and byproducts formed are not found in nature and have not been tested for safety or efficacy. In fact, we have no real understanding of many of these compounds. Without safety studies, and with their toxicity unknown, we cannot say they are not a health risk. As such, it would be irresponsible to recommend these products for human consumption."
Some questions scientists are asking, but do not know: Does it clear the liver? Will it cause cancer with repeated long-term exposure? Will these compounds cause birth defects if consumed during pregnancy (like we saw back in the 60s with anti-nausea medication made in the same isomerization process)? What synthetic byproducts were also created? What about residual synthetic reagents left over in the product?
The United States Pharmacopeia (USP) said, “The prevalence of synthetically derived delta-8 THC raises safety and quality concerns related to both identity and purity – given the unknown and untested nature of the synthetic analogs and the remaining compounds.” The US Hemp Authority has also distanced itself from Delta-8 and other synthetics.
So then what?
We all want access to cannabis, but please I am cautioning you to stay clear of Delta-8 products for now. We just don't know enough about synthetic cannabinoids. There is hope we can increase Delta-8 production naturally through genetics, but we are not there yet.
Instead look to naturally occurring Delta-9 products which are also legal if hemp derived.
We have a CBD +THC gummy that contains 5mg naturally occurring Delta-9 THC in each, along with the 25mg CBD, it is an ideal medicinal dose for deep relaxation and sleep. They're delicious and all natural, like truly all natural. No synthetics, no artificial colors or flavors. No artificial anything. And they're vegan.