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Delta-8 THC has serious health risks…
- What is delta-8 THC
- The health risks associated with delta-8 THC
- The state of delta-8 THC in Rock County
- and what you can do to keep yourself and others safe from delta-8 THC
The information on this page is gathered from the Centers for Disease Control and the US Food and Drug Administration, as well as data gathered from the Rock County Prevention Network.
What is delta-8 THC?
Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as delta-8 THC, is a psychoactive substance found in the Cannabis sativa plant, of which marijuana and hemp are two varieties.
Delta 9 THC is the cannabinoid molecule found in the cannabis plant. It is the most recognized compound found in marijuana and what you typically think of when hearing the terms “Cannabis”, “Marijuana” or “THC.” Delta-9 THC is a federally controlled substance.
Delta-8 THC and delta-9 THC contain many similarities but are NOT the same. Delta-8 is estimated to be about 50-75% as psychoactive as delta-9.
Delta-8 THC is one of over 100 cannabinoids produced naturally by the cannabis plant but is not found in significant amounts and as a result, concentrated amounts of delta-8 THC are typically manufactured from hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD).
Under the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp products legal at the federal level, so converted delta-8 THC is legally a hemp product. There is no existing Wisconsin state legislation preventing the sale of delta-8.
Delta-8 THC is available in many different forms…
Delta-8 can be found as gummies; gummy worms, bears, peach rings, etc. All of different shapes or sizes with different kinds of packaging and labeling.
Some establishments sell pre-rolled joints or blunts containing the loose leaf bud with names such as “Girl Scout Cookie”, “Afghan Kush”, “Gorilla Glue” and more.
Delta-8 is readily available to be vaped, either in disposable or refillable form with a variety of flavors marketed towards younger users.
Edibles are another common way to consume delta-8 THC. Some of the products were pre-made by other manufacturers while many of them were made locally or in-house and had no proper labeling outside of a reprinted sticker from a bag of Cheetos.
What are the health risks of Delta-8 THC?
There are 5 big things the US Food and Drug Administration wants the public to know.
- Delta-8 THC products have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA for safe use and may be marketed in ways that put the public health at risk.
- The FDA has received adverse event reports involving products containing delta-8 THC.
- Delta-8 THC has psychoactive and intoxicating effects.
- Some manufacturers use potentially unsafe household chemicals to make delta-8 THC through a chemical synthesis process. This may occur in uncontrolled or unsanitary settings, which can lead to the presence of unsafe contaminants or other potentially harmful substances.
- Delta-8 THC should be kept out of the reach of children and pets.
To read more about each of these health risks, click here to read the official consumer advisory release from the US FDA.
Delta-8 THC has been found throughout Rock County.
Over the summer of 2021, Rock County coalitions performed environmental scans for delta-8 in their community.
31 businesses were surveyed, with 14 being found to have sold delta-8 THC.
Of those 14, every store sold CBD products and were easily accessible through public transportation or city planning.
Only one store had signage with stating that delta-8 THC would show up on drug tests.
Only store had signage on the potency of delta-8 or warning signs about use. These were not the same store.
Other things noted about these businesses were: some offered delivery, a few had signs stating “Delta-8 THC sold here”, clerks noted that they couldn’t keep Delta-8 in stock, free samples were offered and that packaging was designed to appeal to kids (flavors, colors, snacks/treats.)
What can I do about delta-8 THC?
The Centers for Disease Control issued an official Health Advisory about Delta-8 THC. The following are ways you as a consumer can protect yourself and help us better understand the impact of Delta-8 THC.
- Consumers should be aware of possible limitations in the labeling of products containing THC and CBD even from approved marijuana and hemp retailers. Products reporting only delta-9 THC concentration, but not total THC may underestimate the psychoactive potential for consumers.
- Consumers should be aware that products labeled as hemp or CBD may contain delta-8 THC, and that products containing delta-8 THC can result in psychoactive effects. Delta-8 THC products are currently being sold in many states, territories, and tribal nations where non-medical adult cannabis use is not permitted by law. In addition, retailers may sell products outside of regulated dispensaries in states, territories, and tribal nations where cannabis use is permitted by law. This may provide consumers with a false sense of safety, as delta-8 THC products may be labeled as hemp or CBD, which consumers may not associate with psychoactive ingredients.
- Parents who consume edibles and other products that contain THC and CBD should store them safely away from children. Children may mistake some edibles that contain THC and CBD (e.g., fruit-flavored gummies containing delta-8 THC) as candy.
- If consumers experience adverse effects of THC- or CBD-containing products that are an immediate danger to their health, they should call their local or regional poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 or 911 or seek medical attention at their local emergency room and report the ingredients of ingested products to healthcare providers. Consumers are also encouraged to report adverse events to MedWatch.
- Consumers should be aware that the cannabis marketplace continues to evolve. Other cannabis-derived products of potential concern have emerged recently, such as those containing delta-10 THC and THC-O acetate. More research is needed to understand the health effects of products containing these compounds.