Delta 8 THC Causes Controversy in the Cannabis Industry

Written by Derek Johnson

Delta 8 tetrahydrocannabinol (D8) is taking the cannabis industry by storm. Within a short period of time, it has made its way from obscurity to being widely sought after. However, just because D8 comes from cannabis doesn’t mean everybody in the cannabis industry is pleased with D8’s appearance on the scene. In fact, many are troubled by it.

Delta 8 tetrahydrocannabinol (D8) may rightly be called the new cannabinoid on the block. It’s similar to Delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol (D9) in that it imparts psychoactive effects on its users. But since it is not D9, it is being sold unregulated in many places where D9 is completely illegal or highly regulated (some states, though, have outright banned D8). For consumers in prohibition-heavy states where D9 is hard to come by, the appearance of D8 has been almost like manna from heaven.

Many businesses in the cannabis industry have also greatly benefited financially from D8. D8 is made by manipulating cannabidiol (CBD) molecules into the molecularly-similar D8. Thanks to the years-long glut of CBD, there were plenty of sources of CBD available to convert into D9. According to many, the money generated from D8 has provided much-needed financial relief for many who were hurting from an oversupplied CBD market.

However, D8 is not welcomed by all. Many marijuana growers, who produce D9 THC-laden products, want to see a crackdown on the D8 movement. They believe that unregulated D8 products could stymie the progress of the regulated cannabis industry and point to two tests of D8 samples that both yielded results show negative results. High levels of contaminants were found in both, including metals. Regulation would prevent this from happening.

Marijuana producers also see unregulated D8 as a financial threat. Competing with black market D9 THC is difficult enough for them. Having to to financially do battle against another unregulated and highly-popular cannabinoid will only make things much tougher for their bottom lines.

In the end, the cannabis industry will iron out the wrinkles with this new cannabinoid. As this is being written, actors from the various governments and from the industry are working to clarify the place of D8 in the legal landscape of cannabis. However, because there are so many different jurisdictions and an already-full plate of cannabis issues already waiting to be tended to, their efforts may take a while.


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Derek Johnson

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