The term Cannabis is often used to describe all marijuana products. Cannabis sativa is a member of the Cannabaceae family and the plant cultivated for cannabis products. This plant has 3 major subspecies. The two most common are Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica. Cannabis sativa is most commonly used in the west and has the highest amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) by weight. From this plant, over 100 different compounds or chemicals called cannabinoids can be found. The most common cannabinoids are cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol is responsible for the psychotropic effects of marijuana. The 2018 Farm Bill allows the cultivation of Cannabis that contains no more than 0.3% THC by weight for the production of hemp. Hemp is defined as the fiber component of Cannabis used to make rope, strong fabrics, fiberboard, and paper. The CBD products one sees on store shelves is extracted from legally grown hemp products. CBD can be chemically converted to delta-8-THC, a psychoactive cannabinoid similar to delta-9-THC, albeit less potent.
CBD and delta-8-THC are marketed as health and dietary supplements are therefore not evaluated and approved by the FDA. The only FDA-approved CBD product is Epidiolex. Reports of the psychoactive and intoxicating effects of Delta 8 products are concerning. When synthesizing delta- 8-THC from the hemp, additional chemicals and reagents are often used. These chemicals may be unsafe household products and lead to harmful or deadly outcomes. Because these products are not regulated, they may contain inappropriate doses or unlabeled excipients or adulterants. Poison Control Centers across the nation are seeing harmful effects, often in children, from unregulated Cannabis products, especially those marked as delta-8 THC products. The effects are highly variable and may include confusion, drowsiness, vomiting, low blood pressure, and seizures. There have been pediatric deaths linked to the consumption of delta-8-THC products.
If you choose to use Cannabis products, please keep them locked up and out of sight from children. From a child’s perspective, the products are highly attractive as they often appear consistent with conventional candy and gummy products. Remember, these products are not regulated and extreme caution should be maintained to avoid harm.
For more information, please visit 5 Things to Know about Delta-8 Tetrahydrocannabinol – Delta-8 THC | FDA.