The Dangers of Delta-8 THC and Other Hemp Products That Get You High: Why Unregulated Intoxicating Hemp Products Can Be Dangerous

The California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA), a trade group representing hundreds of companies participating in the largest regulated cannabis market in the United States, released a white paper titled “Pandora’s Box: The Dangers of a National, Unregulated Market for Intoxicating Hemp-Derived Cannabinoids.”

The document details the dangers associated with the growing number of increasingly intoxicating products now being sold as “hemp” by manufacturers exploiting loopholes in the Farming Improvement Act of 2018 (the Farm Bill of 2018 ), calling for urgent reform and proposing four actions to avert a national public health crisis.

“The proliferation of these unregulated and untested synthetic cannabinoids is a public health crisis and we call for immediate action to protect public safety,” said CCIA Chair Pamela Epstein.

The Rise of Delta-8 and Friends

Cannabinoid compounds cited in the report include the well-known Delta-8 THC and other more potent synthetic cannabinoids and derivatives such as THC-P, THCjd, THC-O and Delta-10 THC. These new compounds are often several times more potent than traditional delta-9 THC and contain leftover dangerous chemicals from the manufacturing process.

Products containing this new generation of intoxicants have experts raising significant health issues, including psychosis, seizures, and lung problems.

Many of these products are sold nationwide without age restrictions, testing standards, or general oversight. Plus, they’re often packaged to mimic popular snack foods under names like “THC Hot Cheetos,” “Cookie Monster,” and “Lucky Charmz,” both confusing adult consumers and potentially appealing to underage humans.

“We urgently need laws, regulatory and enforcement frameworks that recognize that an intoxicant is an intoxicant,” said CCIA Executive Director Lindsay Robinson. “It’s currently easier for a child to get their hands on these products than a six-pack of beers.”

The Farm Bill and the Loophole

The 2018 Farm Bill defines industrial hemp as having no more than 0.3% THC content by dry weight and more specifically, includes “any part of the plant…and all its derivatives” “whether growing or Nope “.

According to the CCIA white paper, the “all derivatives” language of the bill has inadvertently created a Wild West of hemp-derived intoxicants, allowing manufacturers of “hemp” products to grow into a massive industry. unregulated by extracting and concentrating CBD and THC and chemically modifying it into new synthetic and semi-synthetic cannabinoids not native to the plant.

“There are strong arguments to make that these new synthetics fall under other forms of federal regulation and control,” says Tiffany Devitt, lead author of the paper and vice chair of the CCIA board of directors. . “There are steps that can and should be taken to protect the public, ranging from much-needed enforcement of existing laws to action by Congress and federal and state regulators.”

Concluding Pandora’s Box, the CCIA makes four recommendations to deal with the crisis:

  • Enforce existing laws in California and other states prohibiting the sale of intoxicants derived from hemp;
  • Action by the United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to exercise its legitimate oversight over new compounds, including those derived from hemp;
  • Amendments to the Farm Bill to close unintended loopholes;
  • The creation of a unified federal framework to regulate both hemp and cannabis-derived cannabinoids.

“Pandora’s Box: The Dangers of a National, Unregulated, Hemp-Derived Intoxicating Cannabinoid Market” can be read in full here: https://members.cacannabisindustry.org/whitepapers/Details/pandora-s-box-the-dangers -an-unregulated-national-market-in-intoxicating-cannabinoids-derived-from-hemp-131449.

Photo by Elsa Olofsson on Unsplash

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