Hello friends of Carolina CBD Solutions! I've been batting around the idea for this post for quite a while, and wrote the original draft back in April while we were on vacation, but it's taken me until now to actually put it out there for you to read.
So who is this Bad Boy, you say? Are you talking about THC? We know all about THC already. Uh, well, I am talking about a TYPE of THC, but not the one we're all familiar with.
I'm talking about another cannabinoid, one that for the most part is a synthetic cannabinoid in the marketplace. I'm talking about Delta-8 THC, a cannabinoid that has taken the hemp industry by storm in the last couple of years.
You're probably saying to yourself, "Why's she calling that a Bad Boy? I thought D-8 was harmless, "weed light," "gets you just a little high," helps with pain and sleep, etc. You may know people who are using it and like it. You may reside in a state without legal access to marijuana and think that it might be worth trying it because technically it's "not THC."
Well, let me explain myself. And this may take a while, so please be patient.
In nature, cannabis plants contain numerous cannabinoids, with those plants or species highest in Delta-9 THC being known as Marijuana, and those highest in CBD known as hemp, with the cut-off percentage between the two being 0.3% Delta-9 THC. Other cannabinoids such as CBG, CBC, CBL, CBN, Delta-8 THC, and Delta-10 THC occur in very small amounts in comparison. Many of these cannabinoids are similar in chemical structure, and under certain conditions (heat, drought, time) can convert from one cannabinoid to another within the plant. We're talking about what happens in nature here, not in a laboratory.
In nature, Delta-9 THC can convert to CBN or Delta-10 THC over time. Delta-8 THC can also occur, but we're talking about these converted cannabinoids occurring in very small amount in the plant over time. Growers are not growing cannabis plants for their Delta-8 or Delta-10 or CBN content for commercial products. These cannabinoids, although they may occur in nature in small amounts, have to be converted from another substance in a lab for commercialization.
At this point you're probably thinking, "Isn't CBD extracted in a lab?" Extracted - Yes. Converted - No. There's a difference.
So with these lab-created/converted cannabinoids we get into the legal conundrum that has ensued with Delta-8 THC. Hemp is legal, thanks to the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill. CBD is extracted from hemp and made into many wellness products available today. While it is not formally regulated currently, the hemp industry itself has developed standards for CBD products that have done much to improve the safety and efficacy of these products.
The hemp industry has worked very hard to separate itself from the concept of psychoactive cannabis, marijuana, weed, or whatever else we call THC-rich cannabis. We're about health, not high. And that's an important point to remember, because we're still trying to get over this huge hump of stigma that's been hovering over cannabis for almost a decade thanks to "Reefer Madness" and Richard Nixon, to name a few.
Delta-8 THC is also derived from hemp, and is converted from CBD to D-8 THC in a laboratory setting using various solvents. Unlike CBD, it does have psychoactive properties, which could be a safety consideration depending on who is using it.
Many states have outright outlawed it, others have integrated any synthetically-derived THC-like cannabinoids into their state Marijuana laws, and others are still trying to figure out what to do about it. Twenty-one states have restricted, regulated, or banned D-8. Of these, 12 states have banned it completely.
Here in South Carolina, but Attorney General Alan Wilson claims delta-8 products derived from hemp plants carrying the federal 0.3% THC limit aren’t permitted anywhere in the state. Wilson’s comment on the legality of delta-8 in South Carolina means the use, possession, sale, distribution, and production of delta-8 products are in a grey area but likely not officially prohibited. It's been confiscated from some CBD stores and smoke shops in different areas, but it's still available just about everywhere that CBD is sold.
Meanwhile the federal Ninth District Court of Appeals has ruled in a case involving trademarks and insurance that Delta-8 is federally legal under the definition of Hemp set forth by the 2018 Farm Bill. Are you confused yet??
How in the world did we get to this point with Delta-8 so fast? Why all the press and the legislative and judicial activity over something that is NOT THC? Several reasons.