In the past month, two U.S. Federal health agencies have issued warnings on products containing the cannabinoid delta 8. According to both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); Delta 8 is unsafe. Delta 8 safety has been called into question following a growing number of hospitalisations in different states.
Both the FDA and CDC issued health advisories on September 14 to warn public health departments, healthcare professionals, first responders, poison control centres, laboratories, and the general public about cannabis products containing delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and the risk of adverse events due to inadequate product labelling.
According to the CDC, the West Virginia Poison Control Center recorded two incidences of adverse events in adults linked to the use of delta-8 THC products in March. Individuals mistaken delta-8 THC-containing products for CBD-like items in both cases. These exposures resulted in symptoms that were similar to those associated with cannabis intoxication.
CDC delta 8 THC is not safe
The CDC also documented two occurrences of serious adverse effects to delta-8 THC in two toddlers who took a parent's delta-8 THC-infused candies purchased from a vape shop, according to the Michigan Poison Control Center. Both children had severe drowsiness and slower breathing, with an elevated heart rate that gradually dropped to a slowed heart rate and lower blood pressure. The kids were admitted to the intensive care unit for more monitoring and oxygen therapy.
The FDA delta 8 announcement also warned, “Some of these items may be branded simply as “hemp products,” which may mislead consumers who correlate “hemp” with “non-psychoactive.”
“Furthermore, the FDA is concerned about the growing presence of products containing delta-8 THC in the U.S. Some of these are being advertised for therapeutic or medical applications even though the FDA has never approved them. Selling unapproved medications with unsupported therapeutic claims is not only illegal, but it can also endanger customers because these products have not been demonstrated to be safe or effective.”
The warnings follow months of increasing consumer demand and poison control reports linked to the cannabinoid, which is found naturally in the Cannabis sativa plant. According to the CDC, concentrated levels of delta-8 can be synthesised from hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) and then added to products labelled as “weed light” or “diet weed.”
Many states have already taken steps to prohibit or regulate delta-8 products, possibly due to a legal loophole in the 2018 Farm Bill, which specifies the permissible delta-9 THC content of 0.3 percent content in hemp. However, it doesn’t define or mention delta-8 concentrations.
Is delta-8 safe?
Delta-8 safety has certainly been called into question. According to the CDC, delta-8 THC is found in modest amounts naturally in the cannabis plant and is considered to be 50-75 percent as psychoactive as THC.
Is delta-8 synthetic?
According to reports, the naturally occurring substance can be produced synthetically. With a solvent, acid, and heat, CBD can be transformed into delta-8 THC, as well as delta-9 THC and other THC isomers, to create higher amounts of delta-8 THC than those naturally occurring in the cannabis sativa plant.
The health consequences of delta-8 THC, according to the CDC, have not been fully explored and are not well known. Furthermore, the selling of delta-8 THC products is not restricted to licensed marijuana dispensaries in states, territories, or tribal nations with legal marketplaces. Rather, a variety of hemp-related firms sell delta-8 THC products. As a result, delta-8 THC products could be mistaken for hemp or CBD products that aren't psychoactive, according to the CDC.
Vapes, smokable hemp sprayed with delta-8 THC extract, distillates, tinctures, candies, chocolates, and infused beverages are among the delta-8 THC-containing goods now on the market. Also available online are products containing concentrated delta-8 THC. Products containing Delta-8 THC are sometimes referred to as light weed.
You may also like to read: Delta-10 THC vs Delta 8 THC: Everything You Need to Know