Delta-8 and Patients
We continue our discussion around the current fad in the cannabis and hemp space with an article from the Salt Lake Tribune, “Some Utah cannabis patients swear off Delta-8 THC”. We would like to thank the Salt Lake Tribune for covering this story and, as a patient and public safety concern, lowering their paywall so more readers could be aware of the situation.
Mitch Butterfield, the patient in the Tribune article that has sworn off using Delta-8, stated to the pharmacist at a Utah dispensary how important “good, clean medicine’ is to him. The pharmacist assured him that he had nothing to worry about” in regards to Delta-8.
Unfortunately, Mr. Butterfield’s experience proved otherwise, his run-in with the synthetic cannabinoids was not what this experienced user was anticipating when seeking relief with plant medicine. The entire ordeal has caused him to lose trust in Utah’s medical cannabis program.
Why Synthesized Delta-8
Why is a synthesized form of THC so prevalent in Utah’s medical-only market? A few reasons.
The end product, Delta-8, starts off as CBD derived from hemp biomass, the parts of the plant other than the flower or bud. From this legal starting point, things start to get murky.
Here are a few points to consider:
- Misinterpretation of the 2018 Farm Bill
- Nonenforcement of the August 2020 interim final rule.
- A large oversupply of hemp biomass
- Delta-8 is less expensive to produce than plant-derived THC
- Local elected officials chose not to enforce the 2018 Farm Bill and final rule in local medical cannabis programs. (Delta-8 has little consumer demand in proper medical or adult use programs)
Adding to the problem in Utah is an under supply of cannabis flower production due to limited licensing, creating a false sense of scarcity. All of these reasons point to why it is easy and profitable to introduce an untested & manufactured product into Utah’s medical cannabis program.
TRUCE and the Minor Synthetic Cannabinoid Fad
Our opinion at TRUCE is that patients should have a sense of confidence in the regulatory framework of their state medical cannabis programs. That’s the reason given to justify the patient card system, testing of flower, labeling of cannabis, and cost—product safety reassurance. These practices are meant to entice the consumer to leave traditional markets for legal ones. So you can imagine the frustration of patient consumers when they are having adverse reactions.
The new fad of creating synthetic hemp-derived cannabinoids like Delta 8, 9, 10, and THC-O, has many concerned about such processes’ efficacy and safety. From our vantage point, we see opportunistic methods in the CBD industry, creating hemp-derived pharmaceuticals with no FDA oversight and the public as inappropriate test subjects.
We support consumers’ right to choose; they are also entitled to all available information to make an educated purchase. Clear labeling is the minimum requirement in this scenario, with the FDA and CDC warnings being given to patients upon purchasing. We prefer not to see these products allowed to market; this is not what most patients seeking plant medicine want.