As marijuana use continues to grow among teens, a less-known form of the drug has exploded in popularity: synthetic delta-8 THC. The compound is created in laboratories and marketed as an alternative to cannabis that is supposedly safer and more potent than delta-9 THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana. While it is legal in many states, experts warn that people may not know what they are taking and that it could be dangerous.
Delta 8 dangers sold in the form of gummies, chocolates, cookies, or other treats, which can make it particularly appealing to young people. It is also available on the Internet and in gas stations, convenience stores, and other outlets. According to a study, national poison control centers received more than 2,362 calls about delta-8 exposure between January and February of 2021, with more than 40% involving children under the age of 18. One case resulted in death.
Delta-8 THC Dangers: What You Need to Know About Its Risks and Side Effects
While delta-8 is derived from the hemp plant, it is not subject to regulations, which leaves it vulnerable to contaminants like heavy metals and molds. It also has not been tested, so users don’t know how much THC they are getting or if it contains other cannabinoids.
While experts worry that regulating delta-8 will be like slapping a Bandaid on a bigger wound, people can take steps to protect themselves. When purchasing a product, check its label for a certificate of analysis, which indicates that it has been tested by an accredited laboratory and meets specific standards. A reputable laboratory will be able to provide a detailed report including the product name, company ordering the testing, batch number, and date of testing.