Is Delta-8 THC dangerous? What is it, and why does it have a bad reputation?
Delta-8 THC is a psychoactive compound found in cannabis. As a minor cannabinoid, it is one of the many natural compounds found in cannabis that interact with our body’s endocannabinoid system.
Delta-8 THC is similar to delta-9 THC, the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis.
Like delta-9, delta-8 THC has medicinal and therapeutic benefits, from reducing anxiety and stress to improving appetite and nausea.
Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, delta-8’s popularity has grown fast, accounting for more than 50% of the cannabinoid market.
But is Delta-8 THC dangerous?
Is Delta-8 THC Dangerous?
Researchers haven’t studied Delta-8 THC as much as delta-9 THC. So it is not fully understood how it may affect the body and brain in the long term. That said, given the overall safety profile of cannabis, there’s no reason to assume delta-8 THC is dangerous.
The problems arise from contaminated grows to impure extraction processes. Critics point to the Food and Drug Administration’s hands-off approach to hemp as the issue. So, in the 2023 Farm Bill, there’s talk of introducing regulations on hemp-derived THC like delta-8.
There’s even talk of banning the sale of delta-8 THC altogether.
However, this assumes federal bureaucrats can successfully regulate an industry. And it ignores the counter facts. Like how the FDA contributed to the opioid crisis, to name a big one.
And given the revolving door of FDA bureaucrats and pharmaceutical cronies, the prospect that it’s a big club that you’re not in only strengthens.
But go down the list and see yourself. The FDA has approved the following:
And these are just the drugs they’ve approved and had to recall. What about the shady backroom deals and corporate maleficence?
What about the Reports?
Between 2020 and 2022, the FDA says they received 104 reports of adverse effects from people who consumed a delta-8 THC product.
Only 8% were from people under 18 years old. 66% of the adverse effects came from food products. And the FDA lists these adverse effects to include:
Loss of consciousness
So, in other words, what happens when you eat too much of a cannabis edible. Only one case resulted in death. But as we covered here, attributing that death to THC alone is suspect.
The issue is likely over impure extraction processes, and that’s why some people believe delta-8 THC is dangerous.
The natural amount of delta-8 in hemp is low, so manufacturers will introduce an additional chemical to convert other cannabinoids, like CBD, into delta-8 THC.
Some of these manufacturers may be using unsafe chemicals, which results in harmful byproducts. However, given the FDA’s track record, we have no reason to assume that their regulation of these products will make the consumer safer.
Additionally, right now, consumers act following their own risk assessment. Of the millions of Americans that like delta-8 THC, 104 of them couldn’t bother to find a decent product.
As it stands, manufacturers and sellers must protect themselves against product liability suits and build their brand and loyal consumer base.
But suppose the FDA gets into the hemp regulation business, which it looks like it will. In that case, the FDA supplants this natural process of consumers regulating companies.
Under the FDA system, manufacturers make money not based on fulfilling consumer demands but by pleasing and bribing government officials.
If Delta-8 THC is Dangerous…
If delta-8 THC is dangerous (and what evidence suggests this?), wouldn’t the practical solution be to legalize all cannabinoids?
That’s the reason Americans from non-legal states are purchasing hemp-derived delta-8. It’s legal, whereas delta-9 isn’t.
No doubt, because hemp manufacturers have to convert cannabinoids to delta-8 through a chemical process synthetically, the possibility of contamination is higher than in standard extraction processes.
But if that’s the only issue, then the solution is to legalize all cannabis compounds. Anything short of a free and fair market is dangerous.