What is Delta-8 THC and why is it illegal in some states? - Net - Indir

What is Delta-8 THC and why is it illegal in some states?

You’ve probably heard of delta-8 THC if you keep up with the newest news in the cannabis world.

Delta-8 is being marketed as “weed light,” a means to “get high without the paranoia,” and even “legal cannabis,” with goods available for purchase online, at head shops, and even gas stations. Is this, however, the case? What is it, exactly?

Experts answer the most frequently asked questions and provide further information about the drug.

What is THC delta-8?

The hallucinogenic chemical delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (also known as delta-8 THC) is found in the cannabis plant. It’s a minor chemical variation of delta-9 THC, which is more popularly known as THC.

Dr. Rahi Abouk, an associate professor and head of William Paterson University’s Cannabis Research Institute, told HuffPost, “Delta-9 is significantly concentrated in marijuana flowers while delta-8 has extremely low concentrations in marijuana plants.”

In general, cannabis plants have significantly more delta-9 THC than delta-8 THC, so when we talk about THC, we’re usually talking about the former. However, because both components are psychoactive, they contribute to the drug’s mind-altering or “high” effect.

Delta-8, as it’s commonly known, is available in the form of gummies, vape pens, tinctures, and consumables both online and in physical places.

What does it have in common with THC?

Delta-8 and delta-9 are isomers with the same chemical formula but distinct molecular arrangements.

“Notably, the ‘delta’ is simply a chemical nomenclature that refers to the position of a double-bond that exists between two carbons found in a cyclic ring structure within the molecule,” explained Dr. Gregory L. Gerdeman, a neuroscientist and educator who has studied cannabis and the endocannabinoid system. “That double bond could be anywhere in that ring, and the naming would simply follow: delta-8, delta-10, delta-6 are all chemically conceivable and can be created in a lab.”

Delta-8 binds to the same CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors found in our nervous system as delta-9, although their interactions are weaker. Although the effects are comparable, it is typically thought to be less strong.

“Delta-8 is said to have many of the positive benefits of delta-9 good mood, relaxed, euphoric without the negative consequences like paranoia and panic,” said Dr. Peter Grinspoon, a cannabis expert and instructor at Harvard Medical School. “It’s difficult to say whether that’s accurate or not. “Everything is anecdotal.”

Delta-8, according to Gerdeman, is not a magical THC that exclusively has favorable benefits.

“I absolutely disagree with the branding that it ‘elevates’ the consumer while removing any fear or paranoia,” he stated. “At this point, I’ve seen and heard numerous incidents of people, including seasoned pot smokers, overdosing on delta-8 products and entering an extremely distressed mental state, akin to going too far with traditional cannabis edibles.”

What is the process of making delta-8 THC products?

Another significant distinction between delta-8 and delta-9 is the development of commercially viable products.

Delta-8 is found naturally in cannabis plants, although only in extremely minute concentrations (so small, in fact, that Gerdeman suggested that scientists might only observe delta-8 because it can be created by oxidative breakdown, which may occur in their very process of chemical analysis). Delta-8 goods, unlike delta-9 products, cannot be created naturally due to their small numbers.

“Most likely, Delta-9 products are derived directly from the cannabis plant,” Abouk said. “However, delta-8 is most likely manufactured and concentrated chemically.”

Hemp, a low-THC cannabis plant, is the primary source of commercial delta-8. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is another isomer of THC found in hemp, and it’s quite straightforward for labs to convert CBD to delta-8 THC.

Because CBD is available in bigger proportions, the delta-8 items you find online and in stores are most likely manufactured from CBD rather than derived from hemp plants.

Is delta-8 THC a legal substance?

This is when things become tricky. The fact that more people have been exposed to delta-8 in recent years is due to a piece of federal legislation that left its legal status ambiguous.

“In 2018, Congress passed this seemingly harmless agriculture bill that, for the first time, made a legal distinction between marijuana and hemp,” said Robert Mikos, a Vanderbilt University law professor who studies marijuana policy. “Previously, all cannabis products were classified as marijuana and were illegal, but this statute restricted the definition of marijuana under federal law, setting in motion a chain of events.”

By removing hemp off the Controlled Substances Act, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, also known as the 2018 farm bill, made it legal. As a result, hemp is no longer classified as a Schedule I substance. Hemp is defined as any cannabis plant with less than 0.3 percent delta-9 THC. The same may be said for hemp derivatives like CBD, which can be utilized to make delta-8, as we’ve shown.

“People see this as a way around the federal marijuana ban,” Mikos explained, “since the legal definition rests on the presence of delta-9 THC but not delta-8 THC.” “It excludes other synthetic or naturally occurring compounds, such as delta-8.”

In essence, ambitious companies have interpreted the law to suggest that goods with higher levels of delta-8 THC are legal as long as they are derived from hemp CBD rather than marijuana. And, as a result of the farm bill’s increased production of CBD oils, edibles, and other products, supply outstripped demand, prices fell, and many entrepreneurs shifted their focus to delta-8.

“The goal has been to manufacture delta-8 and claim that it is fully legal at the federal level,” Gerdeman explained. “This is contentious. The Federal Analogue Act of 1986 makes Delta-8 and the other isomers that can be made from CBD unlawful. However, since the 2018 farm bill legalizes “isomers and derivatives” of hemp, the proponent interpretation is that “any use of the Analogue Act to punish hemp-derived compounds, whether they are psychoactive analogues of delta-9 THC or not, is superseded and overridden.”

What is the government’s current position on delta-8 THC?

The FDA has sent warning letters to companies who sell goods containing delta-8 THC in reaction to its growing popularity. The letters are concerned with “illegal marketing of unapproved delta-8 THC products by corporations as unapproved therapies for various medical illnesses or for other therapeutic uses,” as well as “drug misbranding” and the use of delta-8 as a food additive.

While the Drug Enforcement Administration does not appear to have taken a firm stance, local and state law enforcement organizations have raided delta-8 plants across the country, according to Gerdeman.

“Cannabis products are in this perplexing domain where they can be subject to a variety of laws or regulations,” Mikos explained. “However, chemists can always keep one step ahead of lawmakers and make changes that fall into a legal gray zone.” “The issue is that lawmakers choose to define and regulate drugs based on plants rather than the chemicals produced by plants.”

To date, 20 states have outlawed or restricted delta-8 THC, and four more are considering it. Age limitations vary by state and per seller (though most require buyers to be 21 or older).

“A number of states are racing to eliminate this loophole now that this has caught on,” Mikos added. “Many are attempting to revise their definition of hemp to include other synthetic or naturally occurring compounds like delta-8 rather than relying solely on delta-9.”

Federal courts have entered into the murky waters surrounding the constitutionality of delta-8. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found in a trademark lawsuit on May 19 that vapes containing delta-8 THC are “lawful” under the farm bill. If this was an unintentional outcome of the legislation, the decision stated that “it is for Congress to correct its mistake.”

“I believe certain lawmakers have a valid argument that the United States Congress did not mean to legalize an intoxicating substance when they permitted hemp wording to be included in the 2018 agricultural bill, which is a big piece of legislation,” Gerdeman said. “I can assure you that many hemp farmers had no idea that what they were planting would eventually evolve into a substance that gets people high and can be sold to minors.”

Meanwhile, cannabis industry entrepreneurs continue to exploit the loophole by selling delta-8 THC products that get users high in storefronts in states where it is legal and online to consumers in states where it is not. When you consider that more than 40,000 Americans are estimated to be incarcerated for marijuana-related charges, you get a clear picture of the harmfully inconsistent reality of American drug policy.

Is delta-8 THC a safe substance?

“The optimistic part of me says, ‘Well, it’s so similar to delta-9, I wouldn’t lose too much sleep over it,'” said Dr. Daniele Piomelli, director of the University of California, Irvine’s Center for the Study of Cannabis. “However, the skeptic in me says, ‘It’s similar, but what if that minor change is capable of creating consequences that delta-9 doesn’t?’ It could interact with a receptor we’re not aware of.”

Although several studies on the efficacy and effects of delta-9 THC have been conducted, the same cannot be stated for delta-8 THC. While it’s tempting to dismiss delta-8 as “natural” and thus innocuous, the scientific community has yet to properly investigate the effects of this cannabinoid when consumed in proportions greater than those present naturally in cannabis plants.

“We don’t know what the health concerns are,” Abouk added. “Over 100 instances of adverse events in individuals who have consumed delta-8 THC products have been reported to the FDA.”

Another source of concern is the lack of manufacturing and control.

“There is no quality control over the process,” Grinspoon explained, “so if you buy a vape or candy that claims to include delta-8, who knows if it has delta-8, delta-9, or harmful byproducts.” “It’s made synthetically and is absolutely uncontrolled, which can be hazardous.” Anyone could produce and sell something called delta-8. It’s a shame, since if we regulated and studied true delta-8 like we would any other pharmaceutical, we would discover a million therapeutic benefits and other positive aspects.”

While Gerdeman sees delta-8 THC as a safe treatment in and of itself, he is concerned about contamination in unregulated commercial labs manufacturing delta-8 THC.

“The basic response is simple to perform, but it is difficult to perform cleanly,” he explained. “These methods frequently produce a variety of known and unknown byproducts that are not found in natural cannabis.” Many of these could be hazardous in some way, yet standard industry ‘lab testing’ doesn’t even know where to check for them.”

He also pointed out that labs frequently understate the amount of delta-9 THC produced throughout the process, resulting in delta-8 goods that are far more potent than marketed.

“I’m concerned about very strong cannabinoids becoming more ubiquitous,” Gerdeman added, “because of the money stream that so many labs have become accustomed to and the tendency to compete for the next hot selling ‘legal high.'” “Legalize and control natural cannabis, then I believe the need for chemically produced replacements will plummet.”


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