CDC issues warning about potential delta-8 THC in some cannabis products
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is issuing a warning to cannabis users about a product hitting the market that is causing some people to have adverse reactions.
What is known as delta-8 THC is a chemical equivalent to delta-9 THC, the main ingredient in what is believed to cause a "high." It is unregulated, untested and unapproved by both the CDC and the Food & Drug Administration.
A CDC study revealed that a wide variety of products containing delta-8 THC has entered the marijuana marketplace.
“Our fear is, if this kind of product is allowed to be continued to be sold out there, that people may lose – including legislators and lawmakers – may lose trust in our marijuana markets in this country,” says James Shorris, chief compliance officer for Curaleaf Inc.
Shorris says vendors illegally selling products containing delta-8 are potentially harming the newly legalized adult recreational marijuana industry.
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“Just like any industry, when there are bad actors in that industry, it reflects badly on everyone. It causes folks to lose trust in that industry,” he says.
Delta-8 THC exists naturally in the cannabis plant in small quantities. But CBD is synthetically being converted to delta-8 THC. And according to the CDC study, the conversion process may create harmful byproducts.
“They contain all sorts of other ingredients that could be dangerous heavy metals, lead, pesticides - all sorts of strange chemicals…chemicals that could not be identified,” Shorris says.
The Cannabis Regulatory Commission and the Marketplace Modernization Act both serve to eliminate the problems caused by the unregulated manufacturing, distribution, and use of illegal marijuana in New Jersey.
“It needs to be marketed and sold and produced in a responsible way, just like our traditional marijuana products are in New Jersey and other states, and that's not happening right now,” Shorris says.
This year, The American Association of Poison Control Centers added a code to its database for delta-8 THC. From January to July, 660 delta-8 THC exposures were recorded. Of those, 119 required hospitalization and 258 of those cases involved kids under the age of 18.
There is currently no uniform law concerning delta-8. In neighboring New York, delta-8 is illegal. There is no clear guidance yet in New Jersey.