“What these manufacturers are arguing is that since CBD can be extracted from hemp, and CBD is not THC, it is still considered hemp,” said Eric Leas, an assistant professor of public health at the University of California, San Diego. In other words, delta-8 is chemically THC, but legally hemp.
Manufactured delta-8-THC is typically added to gummies and vape cartridges and is sold legally over the internet and in stores. But because the products aren’t regulated, what’s on the label can differ from what’s inside the package, both in terms of the potency of delta-8 and other unexpected ingredients, like delta-9.
It is dangerous?
The lack of regulation in the United States around delta-8 is the biggest concern for many public health experts. Several studies, including one by the US Cannabis Council, have found contaminants in delta-8 products. In other role published in December by scientists at the University of Rochester, none of the 27 delta-8 products tested contained the amount of delta-8 they claimed. Additionally, all 27 had potentially harmful byproducts, presumably from the manufacturing process, including other cannabinoids, such as delta-9-THC, and heavy metals, such as lead and mercury.
“I don’t think delta-8 by itself is more dangerous than delta-9, but the way it’s made and who sells it scares the hell out of me,” said Dr. Vrana. “It’s not regulated, and because it’s synthetic, there’s a lot of opportunity for things to go wrong.”
Due to these concerns, the CDC issued a health notice on delta-8 in September. The FDA issued a similiar warning in May after receiving 104 reports of adverse events from delta-8 use, including hallucinations, vomiting, tremors, anxiety, dizziness, confusion, and loss of consciousness.
Similarly, the national poison control centers handled more than 2,000 delta-8 calls between January 2021 and February 2022, 41 percent of which involved children who accidentally ingested delta-8 products. One such case resulted in death.