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Delta-8 THC products sold over the counter at gas stations and convenience stores are unregulated and may contain impurities that make them unsafe for consumption, according to a white published today by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).

The report, authored by California NORML Coordinator Dr. Dale Gieringer, explains that Delta-8 THC typically occurs only in minute quantities in cannabis. By contrast, unregulated Delta-8 THC products sold over the counter are produced artificially by a chemical conversion process known as isomerization. There exists no ‘best practices’ or guidelines overseeing this process and human safety data on these products is lacking at this time. Under current federal law, agencies like the DEA define these products as illegal. As a result, NORML does not advise consumers to obtain these products from the unregulated market, and it believes that scientific investigations assessing the safety of these products should be prioritized.

In a statement, Dr. Gieringer said: “Consumers are facing a bewildering array of new cannabis products, including novel agents such as Delta-8 THC. Many come from suspect, unregulated sources on the hemp market or contain new synthetic substances not found in nature. In response to consumers’ concerns, NORML investigated the situation and has issued this report. We strongly recommend that consumers stick to state-regulated products consisting of naturally occurring cannabis ingredients, and that they avoid novel products from the underground market or that are derived from industrial hemp CBD.”

The report offers similar guidance with respect to similarly novel over-the-counter cannabinoid products such as Delta-10 THC, THC-0, and/or synthetic Delta-9 THC – each of which are becoming more popular among grey market producers. The report also cautions against consumers’ exposure to “artificially concentrated terpene” levels in certain products, which may possess irritating or toxic effects when inhaled.

Numerous types of cannabinoids and terpenes occur naturally in cannabis, though most occur organically at minute levels. (The two major exceptions to this rule are Delta-9 THC and, in some varieties of cannabis, CBD.) The report affirms that exposure to these naturally occurring components pose relatively few risks to health – particularly in jurisdictions where cannabis products are state-regulated and are rigorously lab tested for purity and/or the presence of non-natural additives.

Full text of the report, “NORML’s Guide to Delta-8 THC and Other Novel Cannabinoids,” appears online here.


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