Why it matters: The article highlights the growing popularity of the hemp-derived cannabinoid market, particularly delta-8 THC. However, it warns that consumers should be educated about the differences between delta-8 THC and delta-9 THC products.
What they are saying: Experts, including a professor from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, emphasize that while delta-8 and delta-9 THC are chemically similar, they interact differently with the body’s cannabinoid receptors. Delta-8 THC is often referred to as “diet weed” because it is less potent and produces fewer psychedelic effects compared to delta-9 THC. The controversy surrounding delta-8 stems from its extraction and conversion process, with ongoing debates about whether it should be defined as synthetic or natural.
The big picture: Sales of hemp-derived cannabinoids like CBD are outpacing adult-use cannabis and are comparable to the craft beer industry. However, the industry lacks consistent regulation, leading to concerns about the safety and quality of products. Legal experts note that the FDA did not intend to legalize delta-8 when the 2018 Farm Bill was passed, creating a loophole for psychoactive hemp-derived products.
What to watch: Consumers should be cautious about the potential for harmful contaminants in hemp-derived cannabinoids, as the FDA has raised concerns about their safety. There is a need for clearer regulations and oversight in the industry to ensure consumer protection. Additionally, it will be important to monitor how the popularity of delta-8 THC affects the broader hemp-derived cannabinoid market.
My take: The article underscores the importance of consumer education and regulation in the hemp-derived cannabinoid market. With the increasing popularity of delta-8 THC, it is crucial for consumers to understand the differences between various cannabinoids and the potential risks associated with unregulated products. Clearer regulations and oversight are necessary to protect consumers and ensure the safety and quality of hemp-derived cannabinoid products.