Interest in delta-8 THC products is on the rise, according to a report by marijuana analytics company Brightfield Group. Demand for these hemp-derived products has skyrocketed over the past two years with sales exceeding fully $2 billion.
What is delta-8 THC and what’s the controversy all about?
Delta-8 THC is a chemical component of the cannabis plant. Although delta-8 occurs naturally in very small concentrations, it can produce a mild psychoactive effect in some people similar to delta-9 THC.
Question of Safety And Legal Loophole
New industrial methodologies enable delta-8 THC to be converted from CBD derived from hemp. Products developed as a result of the 2018 federal Farm Bill that legalized hemp are therefore not subject to the same testing requirements as cannabis, creating a legal loophole.
The Farm Bill has to be renewed every few years and 2023 is one of them. Many people in the industry are hopeful that the new bill will address the issue of delta-8 THC more strictly, that is to say, regulate it. Why?
Problems connected to delta-8 THC have mostly to do with the question of safety. It takes a proficient and experienced chemist to ensure the safe conversion of CBD molecules into THC molecules, writes Forbes. Inappropriate or imprecise techniques could potentially result in dangerous impurities in the final product.
Delta-8 THC Trends
The Brightfield report also points out the huge overlap among consumers of CBD, marijuana, delta-8 THC and other new cannabinoid products. Some 35% of CBD users have bought psychoactive hemp-derived products over the last six months.
In states with legal adult-use cannabis programs, almost a quarter of weed consumers are interested in buying delta-8 THC products.
The appeal of delta-8 THC lies in its accessibility; it can be legally obtained via mail order. This makes it an attractive alternative to buying cannabis from the illegal market.
The report also warns that the rising popularity of delta-8 THC in areas where cannabis is still illegal could negatively affect potential support for cannabis reform.
“If Delta-8 continues to gain popularity and build a foothold in areas where Delta-9 is restricted, legalization measures could see less popular support and grassroots fundraising, slowing progress toward full U.S. legalization,” the report reads.
Another problem is that some retailers avoid clarifying to buyers that the compound is derived from hemp.
How can legal marijuana businesses stay in the game despite the growing gray market for delta-8?
The report noted that they should concentrate their efforts on highlighting the importance of safety and testing these products.
Why don’t they incorporate these delta-8 products in their offering?
Many large marijuana companies are reluctant to do that because they fear that the 2023 Farm Bill will ban these products.
On several occasions, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Center for Disease Control (CDC) have issued warnings to companies illegally selling delta-8 THC hemp products. Just last week, New Jersey state senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) called the situation a public health problem and introduced a bill to regulate Delta-8 THC and related hemp-derived products.
“There are unregulated, psychoactive hemp-derived products being sold with zero product safety or marketing standards in our communities,” O’Scanlon said. “You can get this stuff online, at the gas station, the pharmacy, bodega. It’s everywhere now.”
Photo: Courtesy of CRYSTALWEED cannabis on Unsplash
Image and article originally from www.benzinga.com. Read the original article here.