What are the experts saying about Delta 8? It's a new product range to explore from the world of legal cannabis, so let's find out more about it.
Delta 8: Experts say check lab results to find a safe product
Bottom Line Up Front
There are currently no federal regulations in place concerning Delta-8-THC products. But a California court ruled that they fall under the same legal umbrella as CBD (cannabidiol)-based products. CBD and hemp based products became legal last year when the 2018 Farm Bill was passed by Congress.
Scientists say there are still many unanswered questions about how delta-8-THC affects people. What's more, several U.S. states have banned or are considering banning the use of products containing it.
Thanks to inconsistent regulation, consumers are at the mercy of companies. Manufacturers can significantly influence the quality and effectiveness of their products.
Low quality Delta 8 products are the biggest concern amongst experts. But, the consumer can navigate this by using a COA to identify high quality products.
What is Delta 8 THC?
D8 (or delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol) is a form of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. D8 is derived from hemp and thus considered legal under current laws. Delta-8 THC products have gained popularity in states where recreational cannabis use has not yet been legalized.
D8 is a naturally occurring cannabinoid found in the hemp plant.
D8 is the mellower cousin of well-known Delta 9 THC, and produces fewer side effects than its better known counterpart.
What's the cause for concern?
Some surveys indicate that delta-8 products produce relaxation and pain relief with fewer side effects (for example, anxiety) compared to regular cannabis.
There is no evidence that Delta-8 carries the same risks as regular cannabis. But researchers have not completed all studies to rule out those possibilities.
And most experts say their real concern with delta-8 products is that they are unregulated. This means there’s no telling what else may wind up in those gummies or vape pen cartridges. Vape pens offer a whole assortment of potential risks, so product choice also comes into play for safe Delta 8 consumption.
Ultimately, the main concern is this: What’s listed on a product's label isn’t always exactly what you get.
Experts agree that consuming low-quality delta-8 supplements poses a significant risk of poisoning. But this risk has more to do with a company's manufacturing processes than the Delta 8 cannabinoid.
CDC and FDA Warnings
Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA), two top-ranking government health agencies, have issued warnings about delta-8 products in recent months
The FDA released a warning in May 2022.
“...delta-8 THC products have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA for safe use in any context. They may be marketed in ways that put the public health at risk.” The report went on to advise keeping it out of reach of children and pets.
This is cause for concern, but that goes for almost every product in the legal cannabis industry. Lack of regulation can cause problems. However, there is a way for consumers to check what’s beyond the label, and what's actually inside a product.
Companies often get their products tested at a third party testing facility. This has become a standard practice amongst companies and brands that need to break through the barrier of distrust.
Thanks to a few that cut corners, there is now a cause for concern in the cannabis industry. Those who sacrifice product purity for profit have tainted the industry, but not all D8 products are the same.
The difference, and it is a key difference, lies in the quality of a product. And consumers have one way to find out: by checking up on the third party test results.
COA: A certificate to quell concerns
Once a company has had their products tested, they receive a COA (certificate of analysis). This COA is a lighthouse for consumers in what is often a murky sea of choice.
Consumers should avoid companies that make their COAs hard to find. And they should definitely not buy from a company that doesn't offer third party test results at all.
The COA should be able to tell you the cannabinoid content as well as if there are any potentially harmful substances in the product.
But more importantly, it should allow you to see the quality assurance from testing from a well-known, reputable company. For consumers, this method of making sure a buy is worth the cash is what separates an unreliable seller from a reliable one.
What is cannabinoid content?
There are two main types of cannabinoids in a product: THC and CBD.
THC is the one that gets you high, and it’s the cannabinoid that is illegal in most products under state laws. CBD is the one that doesn’t get you high and that is what is legal in most states.
But where does Delta 8 fit in? Delta 8 is a form of hemp-derived THC. This means that these products are legal, but you should check where your state laws fit in with hemp derived products. Some states have placed restrictions on Delta 8 in recent months so always double-check your state laws.
When combing through the COA, check the Delta 9 cannabinoid content. Delta 9 THC is more potent and psychoactive than Delta-8 THC. Experts are concerned about Delta-8 products containing higher levels of Delta 9 than the label indicates.
Comparing Delta 8 and Delta 9
For many people, delta-8 THC is as effective in alleviating pain and inducing relaxation as the far more potent delta-9 version of this compound.
Though it produces less intense highs than other forms of the drug, Delta 8 seems also to have fewer negative psychological effects.
Delta 8 users also report fewer instances of anxiety and paranoia.
Many users remark they can use delta-8 THC in the morning and still be productive. Other cannabis products (especially Delta 9) tend to be more recreational because of the more psychoactive effects.
An online survey was recently published in The Conversation. The survey analyzed D8 users across 38 different states. Participants noted they ceased use of Delta 9 products as well as pharmaceutical drugs to tend to their health conditions. They found Delta 8 products to be as effective for them as Delta 9 products. But, they preferred D8 as it lacked the same adverse side effects.
The original survey can be found here.
The Bottom Line:
More clinical studies and research needs to be done to assess the Delta 8 compound. However, so far we know it has similar positive benefits as both CBD and Delta 9 THC. It lacks the potency to create the negative side effects that traditional THC (Delta 9) can cause, so it is skyrocketing in popularity.
But experts are calling the safety of some D8 products into question. It's important to note this safety concern has to do with inconsistent regulation. Manufacturers have a significant impact on quality and effectiveness.
There is some concern that D8 products could have higher levels of THC than advertised. This is not dissimilar to the concern experts share over CBD products. There is a common concern in the legal cannabis industry over product quality- not strictly over the cannabinoids.
There is a solution to address these concerns. Consumers can recognize products that are high quality by using a COA.
Coolout offers easy to find COAs for all their D8 products. Check out their store and find your safe Delta 8 product today.