On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued warnings to consumers about the potential risks of consuming unregulated products that are advertised as containing the cannabinoid delta-8 THC.
There has generally been a lack of rules governing delta-8 THC, which can be synthesized using CBD from legal hemp and is being sold in states regardless of whether they’ve legalized marijuana
According to the CDC, “Variations in product content, manufacturing practices, labeling, and potential misunderstanding of the psychoactive properties of delta-8 THC may lead to unexpected effects among consumers.”
In a health alert, the CDC warned public health departments about the increased availability of cannabis products containing delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and the potential for adverse events due to contaminants and insufficient labeling.
Delta-8 THC exists naturally in hemp in small quantities and is estimated to be about 50-75% as psychoactive as delta-9 THC.
The natural amount of delta-8 THC in hemp is very low, and additional chemicals are needed to convert other cannabinoids in hemp, like CBD, into delta-8 THC.
According to the FDA, some manufacturers may use potentially unsafe household chemicals to make delta-8 THC through a chemical synthesis process, and additional chemicals may be used to change the color of the final product. The final delta-8 THC product may contain harmful by-products (contaminants) due to the chemicals used in this process.
“If consumed or inhaled, these chemicals can be harmful. Likewise, the manufacturing of delta-8 THC products may occur in uncontrolled or unsanitary settings, which may lead to the presence of other potentially harmful substances,” warned the CDC, noting that this process
“may create harmful by-products that are not well-characterized.”
In addition, the FDA noted that “Delta-8 THC products may also have the potential to be confused with hemp or CBD products that are not intoxicating. Consumers who use these products may therefore experience an unexpected THC intoxication.”
The FDA cautioned that it is important for consumers to be aware that delta-8 THC products have not been evaluated or approved for safe use in any context.
“They may be marketed in ways that put the public health at risk and should especially be kept out of reach of children and pets,” wrote the FDA.
Neither agency proposed banning the production or sale of the cannabinoid. The CDC encouraged consumers to be aware of possible misleading labeling and said retailers should “provide information to consumers about the psychoactive qualities of delta-8 THC,” reported Marijuana Moment.
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