Across the US, various states are legalizing marijuana with similar restrictions to alcohol when it comes to who can purchase and sell the substance. While traditional marijuana is now heavily regulated in these states, there’s a related substance that’s taking up shop in many gas stations and supplement stores and goes by the name delta-8 based on its chemical composition.
What Is Delta-8 THC?
Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol, or delta-8 THC, is found in trace amounts in cannabis plants and is part of the family of cannabinoids naturally found within the plant. Unlike properly regulated delta-9 THC you’d find in a dispensary, delta-8 is primarily produced from hemp plants which have been federally legal to grow since the Farm Bill of 2018. Hemp is useful in applications such as textiles, clothing, paper goods, rope, and many other manufacturing settings.
Since hemp is legal to grow and delta-8 can be found within, the market for the substance has been left in a gray area with little to no regulations or supervision from government agencies such as the FDA. Packages often mimic popular snacks such as chips or candy with THC identifiers being hard to spot or non-existent.
Consuming delta-8 unintentionally can lead to adverse side effects due to the person’s reaction or the lack of quality control from the manufacturer. Commonly reported symptoms of unexpected or dangerous delta-8 consumption include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Auditory and visual hallucinations
- Shaky hands and tremors
- Anxiety and stress
- Loss of consciousness
Even within the world of recreational marijuana, delta-8 is seen as a dangerous alternative to federally regulated delta-9 THC. Not only are larger quantities needed, but the chemicals used in production of delta-8 products can create further health complications throughout and after use. Regular users of delta-9 THC can quickly feel the negative impacts of delta-8 due to these factors.
Treat Delta-8 as You Would Any Other Drug
No matter how innocent or fun the packaging may look, delta-8 can be extremely dangerous for children, pets, and certain adults. Due to the drug falling into a legal gray area, nearly every state allows for its sale and delta-8 can even be purchased directly online. Many states and local jurisdictions don’t even have age limits in place for who can purchase the substance.
As the substance finds its way onto more and more store shelves, the colorful and exciting packaging used to market the drug is placed in front of more children and young adults. If you’re worried that your pet or child has eaten something laced with delta-8, contact your local poison control team for assistance on next steps. In most cases the effects will subside over the course of a few hours, but it’s still important to report the incident to help prevent it from happening to others.
Why the Alarm Is Sounding for Delta-8
With more research coming out on delta-9 THC, the public’s opinion on marijuana is shifting. Unfortunately this has also led to an increase in popularity of delta-8 products, prompting the FDA to start raising more awareness about the drug. Reports of accidental delta-8 ingestion to poison control centers is on the rise and new delta-8 products seems to be marketing more heavily towards children and young adults. Contamination of products is another key concern surrounding delta-8.
For any questions on delta-8 THC or any other substances, reach out to the ARC team for a free, no-obligation consultation today.