What is Delta-8?

The New Addition of Delta-8 Into The Market

As we know, the world of abusive drugs is constantly changing with new variations of drugs popping up left and right. One area of this world that is continually evolving is the new variations of THC and CBD. Since marijuana is not widely legal, many are trying to create new hybrid variations of CBD, which allows them to be used widely while still giving you a similar high as THC.
Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-8-THC, Δ8-THC) is a psychoactive cannabinoid found in the Cannabis plant. It is an isomer of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9-THC, Δ9-THC), the compound commonly known as THC. Delta-8 is a cannabis compound that has become popular because of its similarity to delta-9 THC, the main compound in cannabis that gets you high. Delta-8 has been growing in popularity, especially in states that have not yet legalized recreational marijuana use. Delta-8 is sold in a number of different forms including gummies, oils, vape pods, etc.

The legality of delta-8 is hazy at this time. Delta-8 can be extracted from either hemp or cannabis. Because of the 2018 farm bill, hemp can be legally grown and used for extractions all over the United States, making delta-8 legal in states where delta-9 THC is illegal. Nearly all delta-8 sold today are manufactured from hemp-derived CBD, which makes it, in theory, of a federally legal origin. Since in theory delta-8 is a legal substance stores across the nation have been scrambling to keep delta-8 products in stock. Which has lead to a huge spike in users over the past year.

Delta-8 can give people a high, while not as potent as delta-9 THC. Consumers report many of the same effects as THC, such as euphoria, happiness, uplifting feelings, and relief from some symptoms including pain. Resulting in this “legal” drug acting like the illegal delta-9. Side effects may also be similar to those of THC, including dry mouth, red eyes, short-term memory loss, paranoia, and anxiety.  The FDA is concerned that delta-8 THC products likely expose consumers to much higher levels of the substance than are naturally occurring in hemp cannabis raw extracts. ¹

Products advertised as delta-8 have a high likelihood of containing detla-9 due to the unregulated manufacturing process.

On May 4th, 2022 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued warning letters to five companies for selling products labeled as containing delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-8 THC) in ways that violate the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). This action is the first time the FDA has issued warning letters for products containing delta-8 THC. There are no FDA-approved drugs containing delta-8 THC. Any delta-8 THC product claiming to diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent diseases is considered an unapproved new drug. The FDA has not evaluated whether these unapproved drug products are effective for the uses manufacturers claim, what an appropriate dose might be, how they could interact with FDA-approved drugs or other products, or whether they have dangerous side effects or other safety concerns. The FDA recently published a consumer update expressing serious concerns about the potential health effects of delta-8 THC products. The FDA has received adverse event reports involving products containing delta-8 THC from consumers, healthcare practitioners, and law enforcement, some of which resulted in the need for hospitalization or emergency room treatment.²

Since delta-8 is similar to delta-9 in chemical structure and the side effects it produces, delta-8 also responds to drug tests in the same way. Your body will retain its metabolites for some time. The metabolites produced by delta-8 are the same as those produced by delta-9 THC. The primary non-active metabolite that delta-8 THC gets reduced to in the body is 11-Nor-9-carboxy THC or THC-COOH. These lipid-soluble metabolites do not get flushed out of your body easily and can linger in the body like any other THC and may be detected by a drug test. As with all substances, the amount of time delta-8 will remain detectable varies from person to person. When testing a cross-reaction can occur with delta-8 and the THC strip on a rapid oral fluid drug test.

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