Its popularity is increasing, but so are the potential safety issues involved in a substance known as Delta-8 THC. The product can be dangerous on many levels so it’s important to understand what Delta-8 THC is and how it can affect a person who consumes it.
A psychoactive substance found in the Cannabis sativa plant, Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol is more popularly known as Delta-8 THC. It is one of over 100 cannabinoids that are produced naturally by the cannabis plant but are not found in the plant in significant amounts. Concentrated amounts of Delta-8 THC are usually manufactured from hemp-derived cannabidiol or CBD.
Not Evaluated by the FDA
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not evaluated or approved Delta-8 THC products for safety. In fact, the products may be marketed for consumption in ways that actually put individuals’ health at risk.
There are growing concerns around the Delta-8 THC products that are currently being sold, both online and in stores. Some of these concerns include the variability in the way the product is formulated and labeled. These products may contain other cannabinoid and plant oils with variable Delta-8 THC concentrations. Labels may simply say “hemp products,” and that can mislead individuals who typically associate hemp products with non-psychoactive products.
The FDA is further concerned about products containing the substance that are marketed for medical or therapeutic uses. Consumers can be at risk when consuming these products. The organizations that sell the products using these marketing techniques, claiming unsubstantiated therapeutic benefits, are violating federal law. Individuals who use the unproven substance Delta-8 THC to treat serious or even fatal diseases can be at significant risk.
Adverse Event Reports
The danger of consuming Delta-8 THC products has been shown in the number of adverse event reports received by the FDA. Over a twenty month period, from December 2020 through July 2021, the FDA received a number of reports of individuals who experienced hallucinations, vomiting, difficulties standing, and a loss of consciousness. Most of these individuals consumed the substance in edibles such as brownies and gummies.
In addition, national poison control centers received 660 exposure cases of Delta-8 THC products between January 1, 2021, and July 31, 2021. Of the cases received:
- 41% involved unintentional exposure to Delta-8 THC
- 77% of these unintentional exposures affected pediatric patients under the age of 18
- 39% of the total cases involved pediatric patients under the age of 18
- 18% required hospitalizations, including children who were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) following exposure to these products.
Some of the side effects involved in the use of Delta-8 THC include rapid heart rate, red eyes, trouble with coordination, dry mouth, slowed reaction times, memory loss, and anxiety. Since it is synthetically produced, one of the major dangers of using the substance is not knowing exactly what the product contains.
Production Involves Potentially Harmful Chemicals
Since the natural amount of Delta-8 THC in hemp is low, additional chemicals are necessary to convert the other cannabinoids in hemp, including CBD, into the final product. There are many concerns with this process, including the fact that some manufacturers use potentially unsafe household chemicals to make the substance.
The synthetic process may also involve other chemicals used to change the color of the final product, which can have potentially harmful effects, especially when combined with other chemicals. The biggest danger is that there is significant uncertainty as to exactly which potential contaminants may be present in a product.
The chemicals used to make the Delta-8 THC can be very harmful to an individual. This is especially true when the manufacturing process takes place in an uncontrolled or unsanitary setting. Additional harmful substances and unsafe contaminants can find their way into the final product in these situations, causing even greater danger to the person consuming the substance.
Addiction and Mental Health Support for Men
We want you to be safe and healthy. When you are addicted to a dangerous and unregulated drug such as Delta-8 THC, we can help. At PACE Recovery, we optimize your recovery success with integrated treatment that will address both your addiction to drugs or alcohol and your mental health issues. We address your whole person, including your spiritual, medical, psychosocial, and relational facets.
The professionals at PACE understand the challenges you are facing during this period of isolation and uncertainty. We’re here to help. Our men’s-only programming has transformed hundreds of lives over the years, and we believe that you can recover. To learn more about our mental health and addiction services, contact our Admissions team.