It can be found everywhere seemingly, from convenience stores, dispensaries, CBD stores, liquor stores and many other odd locations. So what is it? Its called Delta-8 THC. Delta-8 THC, which many are claiming is the “legal way to get high” and as an alternative way to get “high”, but is it safe? We have received numerous questions and inquiries as to what Delta-8 THC is and why we do not carry any Delta-8 THC products, we just wanted to share our opinions and reasoning for not carrying it. We believe people have the right to choose we just want to be sure people have information available to understand what it is.
DISCLAIMER: THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. PLEASE CONSULT WITH YOUR MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS.
What is Delta-8?
The claims are that Delta-8 is a naturally occurring cannabinoid found in hemp and all cannabis family plants. While, yes, it is a naturally occurring cannabinoid, Delta-8 THC is just one of many cannabinoids that is found in cannabis or hemp plants. It has a very similar structure to the most commonly referenced and famous cannabinoid Delta-9 THC, which is what is the psycho-active inducing cannabinoid found in marijuana. Hemp however, is designated to have less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC, which is why it has no psycho-active effects. While natural levels of Delta-8 can have its own beneficial properties, the levels of Delta-8 found in products marketed as Delta-8 THC, are unnatural, they are increased through synthetic means in order to create enough Delta-8 to produce the psycho-active effects.
Legality of Delta-8
The 2018 Farm Bill, legalized hemp and all hemp derived cannabinoids. This bill removed the likes of THCA, THCV and all other “tetrahydrocannabinols” cannabinoids, including Delta-8 THC from the list of controlled substances. The only one that remained on the Federal Controlled Substances list was THC Delta-9, which is the famous cannabinoid that because of its naturally high concentration in cannabis is what induces the high associated with cannabis. When removing the hemp derived cannabinoids from the banned list, it was essentially assumed since hemp has below the legal limit of 0.3% Delta-9 THC that there were no harmful or psycho-active sources to be concerned with in hemp. Delta-8 is a naturally occurring cannabinoid, however, it is not found naturally in anywhere near high enough concentration to have psycho-active effects. The Farm Bill of 2018 did not account for taking one common hemp cannabinoid, such as CBD, and putting it through a synthetic process to turn it into another cannabinoid, Delta-8 which does have psycho-active effects.
While legislation is ongoing state by state, there may already be legal bounds within the Controlled Substances Act. The level of Delta-8 found in marketed Delta-8 products that are hemp derived exceeds any natural Delta-8 amounts by going through a synthetic process, it could fall into the Controlled Substances Act as an Controlled Substance Analog. As it is produced in a way to produce a high with a product without the regulated Delta-9 THC while having it into hemp regulation. It is something that is still being defined by many state and local governments, in the states where it is still legal it likely has just not been taken up yet by the legislative body.Being an all natural wellness company, we do NOT endorse or promote the use of Delta-8 products.
Processing & Toxins
While it is true that Delta-8 is a naturally occurring cannabinoid, in it’s natural settings and in the natural make up of the plant, Delta-8 is only found in extremely low concentrations, usually less than 0.1%. While in its natural concentrations it may have its own potential benefits for users, but these natural concentrations are significantly below any level that can provide any kind of psycho-active effects. In short, the majority of Delta-8 that is being marketed and found in stores today that seems to be the next hot fad, is actually based from CBD, but can also be done with other various cannabinoids, that has been heated for long periods of time and transforms into Delta-8 THC and made into much higher concentrations.
CBD is extracted from cannabis or hemp, which is more plentiful and cheaper for cultivators to grow. When it comes to the synthetic process of turning CBD Isolate into Delta-8, the State of Oregon has released the following…
The extracted CBD is mixed with an acidic catalyst and heated for a period of time. This process converts much of the CBD to Δ8-THC via “isomerization.”This process produces known and unknown byproducts.
It is unclear whether, or to what extent, the Δ8-THC manufacturers attempt to purify the product to remove the byproducts or the catalyst.
The Delta-8 being marketed is typically from CBD isolate, it is manipulated into Delta-8 through a heating process which changes the chemical structure. During this process other byproduct is created that is not necessarily known and can be different from various manufacturers depending on their exact processes. The FDA has come out and said that Delta-8 products often have many harmful chemicals in them that are used in order for the manufacturer to achieve the level of Delta-8 they are claiming in their product, in order to produce the “high” effect. The following is taken from the FDA on September 14th, 2021.
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:
Some manufacturers may use potentially unsafe household chemicals to make delta-8 THC through this chemical synthesis process. Additional chemicals may be used to change the color of the final product. The final delta-8 THC product may have potentially harmful by-products (contaminants) due to the chemicals used in the process, and there is uncertainty with respect to other potential contaminants that may be present or produced depending on the composition of the starting raw material. If consumed or inhaled, these chemicals, including some used to make (synthesize) delta-8 THC and the by-products created during synthesis, can be harmful.
Manufacturing of delta-8 THC products may occur in uncontrolled or unsanitary settings, which may lead to the presence of unsafe contaminants or other potentially harmful substances.
Read full Press Release Here
While legislation originally did not account for the arrival of Delta-8 THC products from hemp, it seemingly spawned as a work around the legalities as well as a way for many to reduce an abundance of hemp and hemp product inventory, of typically lower-grade CBD Isolate. Delta-8 while billed as the “legal way to get high”, originated as simply a combination of legal loopholes that were not included in original states legislations and the desire to offload excess inventory. There are some manufacturers who may have the funding, facilities and wherewithal to produce a cleaner product but we have also seen firsthand facilities producing it that resemble a drug factory from a Hollywood movie that are simply trying to get a quick piece of the market.
We completely believe in medical freedom and freedom of choosing what products you do and do not want, we do not believe there’s a one size fits all when it comes to our bodies and how each individual reacts with different substances. With choice, there must also be truthful disclosure and that includes longer term testing and adequate labeling so customers are aware of what they are purchasing and consuming. Delta-8 primarily is labeled according to hemp labeling rules, as the majority of it is derived from CBD from hemp, those rules typically only require the CBD and THC (Delta-9) to be expressly disclosed on the label. If Delta-8 content is not expressly disclosed on any Delta-8 product’s packaging, please contact the manufacturer prior to consuming as it could become possible to get more intoxicated than anticipated. Also, the byproduct of the isomerization process is typically not disclosed anywhere or labels on the product’s packaging, meaning any byproduct is simply going to be unknown and can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer as well as from batch to batch, depending on many factors. This byproduct can contain toxins, that simply have not been studied long enough to have any kind of known long term effects.
Informed Decision and Drug Testing
As Delta-8 typically falls inline with hemp packaging rules, while THC Delta-9 is required to be below the legal limit of 0.3% THC with hemp products, a product that is derived from hemp but contains high concentration of Delta-8 can be sold with much higher concentration. This can be confusing for some customers and patients as well, who may think they are getting a hemp product or who may not realize there's a difference and that it is a Delta-9 THC product. There's a lot of confusion and many not realize it has purposefully manipulated CBD (typically) that has been processed into Delta-8 and they may get an unanticipated “high” from the product. Dosing is a particularly hard thing to do with Delta-8, at least starting out, so if you are going to explore Delta-8 it is probably best to start very low.
This also falls into the testing realm, as most products are derived from hemp, Delta-8 THC is not included into any of the cannabis testing standards or requirements currently. So as long as the manufacturer is ensuring their product does not exceed the legal limit of 0.3% on Delta-9 THC, they can effectively manipulate the concentration of Delta-8 THC at any level they want.
It is also important to point out that Delta-8 can stay in your system just as long as Delta-9, meaning you can fail drug tests. Some think, that even though it may have originated from CBD from hemp and was processed into Delta-8, it cannot give a positive on a drug test, making it a way to get around testing. This is false, it can and most likely will test positive on any drug test.
Where is Delta-8 Allowed?
Currently there are 18 states that have recently outright banned Delta-8 products, those include…
Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Kentucky Idaho , Iowa, Mississippi , Montana, New York, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Michigan (comes into effect Oct ’21), North Dakota and Connecticut.
With several more with pending legislation and regulation going through legal proceedings in Alabama, Illinois, Oklahoma and Oregon
Our Stance on Delta-8
As we started this post, we have received numerous inquiries as to what Delta-8 THC is and why we do not carry any Delta-8 THC products, we just wanted to share our opinions and reasoning for not carrying it. We believe people have the right to choose we just want to be sure people have information available to understand what it is. Our opinion on Delta-8 THC is that as a natural health and wellness company is that we do not support or carry Delta-8 THC products. There’s a lot of misinformation or misunderstanding out in the market about Delta-8 THC as well, we get asked all the time if we carry it, so we just wanted to share our understanding and stance on it and why it is not a product we will be carrying. This post is not meant to be taken as medical or legal advice, this is all our understanding from our research of Delta-8 THC.
If you are looking for more information, here’s a couple of sources we quoted in this post and that we also thought provided good information.
- Food and Drug Administration - Release on 9/14/21 (LINK)
- Oregon State Government Regulatory Issues Artificially Derived Cannabinoids (LINK)
- Brightfield Group - What’s the Fate of Delta-8 (LINK)
DISCLAIMER: All content provided by Hari Om Hemp is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Hari Om Hemp is not responsible or liable for any information, services or products that you obtain as a result of your consult or information you have read on Hari Om Hemp's website or any affiliated entities.