Minnesota Accidentally Legalizes Edibles 

Minnesota accidentally legalized cannabis edibles as part of a regulatory overhaul on July 1, 2022. State legislators passed a law allowing the sale of products containing “non-intoxicating cannabinoids.” But the law includes a loophole that essentially legalizes all forms of THC edibles. At least one Republican state senator has come forward, admitting it was a […]

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Future of Delta 8 THC vape laws after Juul ban

Cannabinoid and nicotine products differ from one another — from ‘cultivation’ to their pharmaceutical effects. Certain governments have, however, regulated the two hand in hand. Consider the Agencies’ general overbearing sense of duty. Will the FDA’s recent ban on products by Juul indicate future vape laws regarding minor cannabinoids, such as delta 8 THC? Newly […]

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What Does Federal Appeals Court Ruling Mean for Delta-8 THC?

Delta-8 THC gets a lot of attention as an intoxicating cannabis agent, that’s separate from the delta-9 we know and love. Now this attention has expanded to a federal court, which may, or may not, push Congress to do something to clarify. So, what’s the deal with the recent federal appeals court ruling, and what does it mean for the future of delta-8 THC?

New federal appeals court ruling on delta-8 THC creates even more confusion over the legality of this compound. How will Congress react to this? Keep watching life to find out! We’re an independent news publication focusing on the cannabis and psychedelics industries. To stay current on everything important happening, subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter. Also, it’ll get you premium access to deals on cannabis flowers, vapes, edibles, and much more! We’ve also got standout offers on cannabinoids, like HHC-O, Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10 THCTHCOTHCVTHCP HHC, which won’t kill your bank account. Head over to our “Best-of” lists to get these deals, and remember to enjoy responsibly!


The ruling

First and foremost, when getting into a lawsuit, it’s important to know what the lawsuit is about. Not everything is a criminal trial, or involves someone getting busted for using a drug. Though court cases often spawn inflammatory headlines, the actual case doesn’t always match the hype of the headlines. If the goal is to understand the world around, then these discrepancies are wildly important.

That said, the reason this came up, is because the company AK Futures took the company Boyd Street Distro to court on trademark infringement charges, saying Boyd Street Distro was selling counterfeit versions of AK Futures’ delta-8 “Cake” vape carts.

Why does this matter to the rest of us? Because you can’t trademark an illegal product. Therefore, a federal appeals court ruling of 3-0 by the The Ninth Circuit panel in San Francisco, that AK Futures can trademark the delta-8 vapes, means that it’s saying those vape carts are legal. However, this is still only a trademark case, not a case meant to set case law for the use of delta-8 products, which it most certainly did not do. The FDA regulates all consumable products, so though it might be legal to have and produce these vape carts according to the judgment, the ruling makes no decision on the legality of using them.

If this sounds weird, or even a bit silly and backwards, it most certainly is! But it’s also not uncommon, and highlights the contradictory nature of many laws. For example, magic mushroom spores are legal to buy and sell in most places because they don’t have psilocybin and psilocin in them, yet it’s illegal to grow them into mushrooms. Or check out the country Georgia, where cannabis is legal for use, but not to buy, sell, or grow. A similar issue to the latter shows up in tons of places, like Italy, where possession of cannabis is illegal, but use is not.

Technically, the court is saying that because the 2018 Farm Bill opened the door to hemp derivatives, that delta-8 is therefore a legal, and trademarkable product. This does go in contrast to recent actions taken by the FDA, in which letters were sent out specifically to delta-8 companies, telling them to stop illegal operations. But there are some things to consider when looking at a news story like this, because when it comes to the biggest issue regarding whether delta-8 products should be considered legal, it doesn’t touch the subject, because it wasn’t a part of the case.

What the ruling DOESN’T do

The ruling in no way legalizes use of delta-8 THC on a federal level, or on any specific state level. In fact, it makes no mention of this at all, as this was not what the suit was about. Lawsuits are specific, and generally geared to one particular point. The suit was only about one company’s ability to trademark a product, with the implications of what a trademark means for product legality as a corresponding aspect.

The other thing it most certainly didn’t do, is attack the idea of synthetically-made vs directly-extracted. When dealing with delta-8 THC, there are some basic things that should be understood, but which get incredibly confused in the press. The term ‘hemp-derived’, should mean ‘naturally-derived’, and that’s what’s it’s being sold as, as a way to say that delta-8 THC can come from a direct extraction of the hemp plant.

But the reality is that delta-8 is naturally produced in such tiny amounts that no delta-8 product sold is extracted from hemp directly. Instead they are all synthesized, making them ‘synthetically-derived’.

This is an important clarification, because whether or not you want to argue that delta-8 is legal under the Farm Bill, this would never account for synthetic versions. Synthetics are not a part of the Farm Bill, as the definition of ‘hemp’ only accounts for that which is derived directly from the plant. The moment synthetic processing comes in to create the compound, it’s no longer a product of hemp, and does not fall under the definition of hemp. Analogues of Schedule I substances are automatically Schedule I as well under the Federal Analogue Act.

hemp-derived delta-8 vs synthetic

The ruling made no mention of this, because it wasn’t a court case meant to examine the specifics of delta-8 production, or anything that goes with that. It therefore wasn’t important to this specific court if either company was making a real delta-8 product or a synthetic one, and since both sides can only be selling synthetics, it wasn’t a point either would want to enter into the argument, as it’s a reason for both sides to lose.

The court ruled on the idea of naturally-occurring delta-8 THC, but went no further to verify that the products were indeed direct extractions of the hemp plant. Which is partly because there’s no system of regulation set up to do so. No testing requirements exist, since apart from this ruling, it’s never been considered a trademarked, or officially legal, product before.

Does the ruling change anything?

Depends how you look at it. Delta-8 products are being sold regardless. They have been for a while now, and will continue to be. In fact, this will probably go on as long as consumers want to buy the products, and recent moves through Shopify and outgoing FDA letters haven’t stopped anything, even if losing Shopify did hurt sales a little (this is speculation as almost no sales data exists). The biggest thing the delta-8 industry has to deal with is the standard weed industry, whether legal or illegal, as most prefer the real thing. But that has nothing to do with the circus going on right now.

In terms of use, nothing was changed or legalized, so on a formal legal front, nothing is different for consumers. What the vape carts are expected to be for, if not for consumable use, is a great question, but their existence and ability for trademark does nothing to allow their legal use internally. In that sense, the industry trucks on how it’s been, and nothing is different at all.

But it does do something… The main line from federal government agencies is that delta-8 THC is illegal, hence the letters just sent out. And this ruling is a chink in the armor of that argument because it’s saying the products themselves are legal, and so is the ability to trademark them.

Much like inconsistent weed laws that allow use and not possession or sale, this judgement now does the same, saying delta-8 THC products are legal, even if you can’t consume them legally. Of course, we could then ask, ‘why would anyone want them?’, but I guess that becomes a question for another time.

delta-8 THC products

How the federal government will react presents an interesting story to follow. If it does nothing, it knows that chink in the armor will grow bigger. And if it fights it outwardly and publicly, it might have a big old losing battle on its hands. Perhaps that was even incentive for the federal appeals court ruling, in that the judges are probably aware of the difficultly of this situation for the federal government, and that their trademark case law for delta-8, could therefore stand.

For whatever reason they ruled, they made this statement, which sounds a bit taunting to me, “Regardless of the wisdom of legalizing delta-8 THC products, this court will not substitute its own policy judgment for that of Congress.” And that if there’s an issue with this, “then it is for Congress to fix its mistake.” If nothing else, it makes a statement that the court system does not feel the need to uphold Congress’ desires, which given the controversial nature of the subject, could make for some interesting cases in the future.

Conclusion

Most headlines make this story seem like more than it is, but it’s not nothing. Often change comes in small increments, and this ruling might represent one of those increments. The federal appeals court ruling did not legalize the consumable use of delta-8 THC, but it did rule that it’s a legal product, and one that can be trademarked.

Hello and welcome! We appreciate you stopping by CBDtesters.co / Cannadelics.com, your most comprehensive news site covering the expanding cannabis and psychedelics fields. Join us daily for updates on everything going on in these constantly-changing industries, and check out The THC Weekly Newsletter, so you’re never late on getting the news and all the best deals. Please remember, cannabinoid products are not everyone’s first choice, and we only promote consumers buy the products they’re comfortable with using.

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Simply Crafted CBD’s Potent Promise

Simply Crafted is on a mission to provide the best possible hemp-derived products at an affordable price. The Minnesota-based company is home to the state’s largest selection of high-quality smokable hemp flower and a range of other hemp-derived CBD products that focus on supporting customers through every step of their wellness journey.

Simply Crafted believes that the healing power of hemp should be accessible to everyone. To that end, the company was founded in 2019 to provide natural remedies to help with an array of ailments. They focus on developing products that are full-spectrum and contain minor cannabinoids while maximizing terpene retention during the extraction process.

“We believe hemp flower, CBD and other industrial hemp-derived products should be sold responsibly and ethically,” Amanda Stead, founder of Simply Crafted said in a press release.

 “That’s why we rigorously test all of our flower and hemp products to ensure they’re in full compliance with the 2018 Farm Bill.”

Simply Crafted CBD Products

Simply Crafted works with local sustainable and organic farms to ensure only premium hemp flower is used to create its range of THC and CBD products, including gummies, pre-rolls, vape pens and water-soluble syrups all designed to meet your health and wellness needs.

The brand also offers a wide range of some of the most potent delta-8 edibles currently on the market. The 2018 Farm Bill made hemp and hemp-derived cannabinoids like delta-9 and delta-8 THC legal in all 50 states as long as the product contains at or below 0.3% THC.

High Spectrum CBD + THC Hemp Gummies

Simply Crafted CBD and THC gummies will satisfy your cravings for sweets and potent highs. These candies are unique in that each one contains a hefty dose of 10 mg of hemp-derived THC.

You might be wondering how the gummies can be so potent while pertaining to the aforementioned legal THC amounts. It’s simple math, really. Simply Crafted infuses THC from locally sourced organic hemp into its gummies that weigh in at 4500 mg each (10mg of THC in a gummy that weighs 4500 mg means that there’s far less than 0.3% THC content per gummy). And they didn’t stop there—each gummy is also infused with 10mg of CBD to round out the efficacy of the gummy and provide added therapeutic benefits.

Each pack of delta-9 THC and CBD High Spectrum Hemp Gummies contains 10 gummies with varying delicious and all-natural flavors, such as blackberry, peach and watermelon.

Delta-8 THC Syrup

Cannabis aficionados and the canna-curious alike will love this game-changing syrup. Packing a potent 1000 mg of THC, this all-natural syrup is infused with nano-encapsulated and water-soluble delta-8 THC, making it perfect for mixing into any drink, or for creating your own cannabis cocktails.

Delta-8 products have taken the cannabis industry by storm. The naturally occurring cannabinoid is produced as a byproduct of “regular” THC, also known as delta-9 THC. When delta-9 THC is destroyed or degraded by the sun or the passage of time, it might transform into delta-8 THC. The key distinction between delta-8 and delta-9 THC is that delta-8 feels more like THC light. That is, it has the same effects of THC—euphoria, relaxation and overall mood enhancer—but on a more pared-back level.

The customizable dosage of the Simply Crafted Delta-8 THC Syrup makes it perfect for all levels of cannabis experience. Note that high bioavailability and rapid absorption will have you feeling the effects quicker, reducing the risk of over-consumption. The syrup is available in four flavors, including raspberrylemonmango and sugar-free.

Giving Back

One of the Simply Crafted brand pillars is educating customers and the wider community, and advocating for cannabis law reform. The company proudly supports NORML and the Last Prisoner Project in their endeavors to change US cannabis policies and is a member of the National Cannabis Industry Association and the Hemp Industries Association.

Simply Crafted is your one-stop shop for vapes, glass, accessories and a huge selection of unique CBD, CBG, CBN, delta-8 and hemp-derived delta-9 THC products. All products are rigorously third-party tested in federally regulated, ISO certified labs to give customers complete peace of mind. Simply Crafted also offers a 100% money-back guarantee. This means you can buy delta-8 edibles and more from its Minnesota store, or online if you are out state.

“Our passion for excellence has driven us from the beginning, and continues to drive us into the future,” Stead said.

Use promo code CANNABISNOW to save 30% on your Simply Crafted products.

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FDA Going After Delta-8 Companies

It was coming. We knew it by Shopify. And whatever happened is probably just the beginning of the story. We know the government isn’t thrilled about the cannabinoid industry, and now its making its first big, direct move, by using the FDA to go after delta-8 THC companies.

The FDA going after delta-8 companies is a predictable move, but who knows how this will end. We specialize in cannabis and psychedelics reporting, which you can follow along with by signing up for the THC Weekly Newsletter. You’ll also get prime access to deals on an array of cannabis products like vapes, edibles, and smoking paraphernalia. Plus, we’ve got tons of cannabinoid compounds like delta-8 THC as well. Please remember, *cannabinoid compounds are not preferred by everyone. We only support people buy products they are comfortable with.


What’s the news?

The CBD industry is already aware of how much the FDA doesn’t like it. The FDA has sent out letters to tons of companies over the years, reminding them about federal laws, and to stop producing and selling products that go against them. For the most part, this hasn’t had the biggest impact, and CBD, which is now cleared for medical use by the UN via updates to the Single Convention, is found pretty much everywhere.

On May 4th, 2022, the FDA made its first big, direct move in the cannabinoid space, by sending out warning letters to delta-8 companies, warning them that the products they are producing and selling, violate federal law. Five companies were targeted thus far, but perhaps more will receive letters in the future. After all, Shopify had to remove a lot of products, and the very same vendors are the targets of such letters.

The companies targeted by the FDA for their delta-8 products, are ATLRx Inc., BioMD Plus LLC, Delta 8 Hemp, Kingdom Harvest LLC, and M Six Labs Inc. These warning letters don’t leave CBD out, making mention of the company violations on that front too. According to Jonathan Havens, co-chair of Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s Cannabis Law Practice and the Food and Beverage Practice, “the five warning letters represent the first enforcement actions taken by FDA against delta-8 marketers.”

Part of the issue has to do with medical claims. According to the government agency, there are no approved drugs that contain delta-8, and so using delta-8 to make any claim for a medication, means making an unapproved claim, for a drug which is also unapproved. The FDA also attacked the idea of the mis-branding of products, with the complaints of not giving good enough instructions, as well as putting delta-8 in food products.

Said FDA Principal Deputy Commissioner, Janet Woodcock, “The FDA is very concerned about the growing popularity of delta-8 THC products being sold online and in stores nationwide… These products often include claims that they treat or alleviate the side effects related to a wide variety of diseases or medical disorders, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, nausea and anxiety. It is extremely troubling that some of the food products are packaged and labeled in ways that may appeal to children. We will continue to safeguard Americans’ health and safety by monitoring the marketplace and taking action when companies illegally sell products that pose a risk to public health.”

Of course, delta-8 THC has, indeed, been found useful for all the conditions mentioned, which does beg the question of why the government is trying so hard to protect its population from these compounds, especially in light of the no-death count attached. It has repeatedly been shown that additive products are the real main issue, and that cannabis compounds have yet to be associated with death. This is important because another government agency, the CDC, just requested to lower prescribing guidelines for opioids, which already kill as many as 70,000+ a year, even as other non-addictive, no death-toll measures like ketamine and cannabis, exist.

How did this come about?

This newer issue is a counterpart to the CBD issue, which has been going on for awhile now. The cannabinoid industry, led by delta-8 THC, is based on the idea of extracting cannabinoids from the hemp plant for use in products. But there’s a problem with this. Though some of the compounds can technically be extracted from hemp, like delta-8, they can only be extracted in tiny amounts, so that for product production, synthetic processes must be used. This takes these products out from under the definition of hemp, making them federally illegal.

CBD on the other hand, can be extracted in large enough quantities that the same issue of synthetics isn’t relevant. However, neither is cleared by the US federal government for internal use, and the only reason there’s a conversation, is as a result of the 2018 US Farm Bill. The bill instituted a new definition for hemp, in order to promote the industrial hemp industry. In so doing, it separated high-THC cannabis from low-THC cannabis, and defined ‘hemp’ as only certain parts of the actual plant, without including synthetics. It should be noted, however, that even though the US government says CBD is not legal in this way, it did approve epidiolex, a big-pharma synthetic version of CBD. It has also approved synthetic versions of THC (dronabinol).

Synthetics of any Schedule I substance (which are not big-pharma made and approved), are also Schedule I under the Federal Analogue Act. When compounds are made using synthetic processes, or that don’t exist in nature (delta-10), they are not covered under the definition of hemp. Nor is anything (plant or product) that has over .3% delta-9 THC.

hemp

Two of the many issues with the cannabinoid market, are that large amounts of delta-9 THC are often found in products, and that synthetic processing is used to make them. Though the industry uses the term ‘hemp-derived’, this only means that some aspect of it came from the hemp plant, although in reality, even this isn’t necessarily true. As the industry is not regulated, we simply don’t know what we’re buying, and that presents its own problem.

Though regulating the market could settle much of this, the federal government doesn’t want to do that. But it also doesn’t want to lose tax revenue, and that creates a conundrum. The government tends to take money from big pharma, not little mom-and-pop, so anything that can’t be transformed into pharmaceutical profits easily, isn’t desired by the government. It’s just like with Quaaludes, which were too easily made outside of pharma companies, making for a black market that the US couldn’t control.

What else has been done?

The FDA sending warning letters to delta-8 companies is the first big, above-board move by a government agency to try to stop this industry, but it wasn’t the first move made. A couple months ago, the biggest shopping sales platform, Shopify, started sending out its own similar letters, telling vendors they could not sell products with more than .3% delta-9 THC, and that they had to be in general compliance with federal law, which also rules out synthetics. Thus, tons of companies were affected.

Shopify didn’t stop with letters, and immediately forced companies to drop products from their online catalogues, that don’t meet regulation. This most certainly was a hit to the industry, though the lack of overall sales figures in general, makes it hard to know how much. Cannabinoid products are sold all over the place, and show up in a lot of small roadside stores. How much the industry relied on on-line sales, particularly from Shopify, is not clear.

Shopify didn’t make a statement about the US government making it do this. Nor did the US government make a statement about being involved in the Shopify issue. But most companies won’t shoot themselves in the foot if they don’t have to, and it’s hard to believe that Shopify would all of a sudden care about something it never cared about before. This was not an ongoing fight, but a directive that came out of nowhere. It suffices to say there was likely pressure from higher up, and that Shopify itself could have been shut down if it didn’t comply.

Are these products dangerous?

The US government hasn’t legalized cannabis yet, but we already know that that specific legalization is not what determines the safety of the plant. So regardless of whether something is federally illegal or not, whether it’s dangerous or not is an entirely different question. It’s almost joke level funny that Ms. Woodcock would speak about the dangers of compounds with no death toll, while close to 100,000 people die a year from government sanctioned opioids.

opioids

On top of that idea, the US government is getting close to passing a bill to legalize cannabis, whether it wants to call it a ‘legalization’, or a ‘decriminalization’. The MORE Act already passed the House and is now up for the Senate. And if that doesn’t make it, Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer has his own baby, the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, which he’s carefully shopping around for support, and which hasn’t been officially offered, so as not to run out the clock prematurely.

Though a lot of reasons could be given for why the federal government is working hard now to pass something, one of the biggest reasons is that it must play catch-up with its states, so as not to seem powerless. Legalization measures are moving in only one direction, and its away from federal mandate. Soon enough, more and bigger publications, will point out how few people actually live under federal law concerning cannabis at this point. And as the government can no longer stop this train, it must now get on it, and pretend that was always the goal.

Conclusion

How much of an effect these FDA letters will have on the delta-8 industry is not known, and it might take some time to see results. The US government is obviously frustrated, but it’s also not in a position of power considering failed drug wars, and the lack of danger associated with this particular drug.

Maybe the delt-8 market isn’t the most savory. Maybe there are problems associated. But if the government really wanted to protect its people, it would do something substantial about the opioid epidemic, instead of railing against a plant (or its synthetic counterparts) which doesn’t realistically hurt anyone.

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Virginia Redefines THC to Ban Delta-8 Last Minute

The subject of delta-8 and the cannabinoids market is an extremely controversial one, and different groups have their own take on the legality of the situation. Individual states have been instituting their own policies to allow or ban the substances; and such is the current case with Virginia, which is trying to ban delta-8 THC through a last minute add-on to a bill.

An edit to a Virginia bill by the governor would redefine THC, and illegalize the sale of delta-8 and other cannabinoids outside of dispensaries. Will the edits be nixed? We’ll find out later this month! We’re all about covering the quickly expanding world of cannabis. Keep up by subscribing to the THC Weekly Newsletter, and get your daily dose of industry news, along with access to deals on products like vapes, edibles, and other paraphernalia, and cannabinoid compounds, also. Just remember, *cannabinoid products aren’t for everyone, and no one should use a product they are uncomfortable with!


What’s the news?

As states legalize cannabis, they are able to institute their own regulations, and these regulations don’t have to be consistent among states, or the federal government (which still holds it all as illegal). In doing so, different states have reacted differently to the cannabinoids market, which includes delta-8 THC, HHC, THCO, and other compounds. The latest to do something about it, is Virginia, with SB 591, a bill to define the upcoming regulated cannabis sales market.

On Monday, April 11th, Virginia’s Governor Glenn Youngkin, made edits to SB 591 on the last allowable day he had to approve the bill. These last minute changes redefine the term ‘THC’, though the bill was already approved by the General Assembly with a standing definition. This new definition of ‘THC’ for Virginia, doesn’t specifically mention delta-9, and is worded to ban the sale of isomers like delta-8 outside of legal dispensaries, by grouping THCs together.

It should be remembered, that ‘THC’ only refers to the term ‘tetrahydrocannabinols’, and not specifically delta-9 THC. In this way, while why it was done is not explicitly clear, redefining ‘THC’ to include all THCs, does make sense. In reality, this is actually not a major change from the standard definition, but works to emphasize that cannabinoid products can’t be sold illegally.

According to Youngkin, in a statement to WTKR, a Norfolk TV station, “Delta-8 is, in fact, basically marijuana, and marijuana is prohibited from being sold right now.” Should it go into effect, the policy would begin on October 1st, however, it’s not technically a done deal. The legislature is still capable of overriding this decision with a 2/3 vote, which is possible considering these add-ons might not be appreciated. In that sense, the last minute edits are more of a proposal, than the official passage of a law. Whether they stay or not will be decided on April 27th.

Technically, Virginia legalized recreational cannabis in 2021, after decriminalizing it the year before. A fully regulated recreational sales market is expected to begin in early 2024. Even so, other aspects, like legal limits and punishments, are already in place.

What about smokable hemp products and misdemeanor charges?

In regards to the edits, Governor Youngkin explained further to News 3, “There’s not a market, so this was a good clarifying amendment in order to treat Delta-8 along with Delta-9 in the same category, while preserving all the access for CBD products.” However, the edits covered more than just a definition of THC.

The Governor’s edits would also ban the sale of edible hemp products in the shape of people, animals, and fruit. While this is undoubtedly a measure to try to dissuade children from wanting to eat said edibles, how useful a stipulation like this is, is hard to say. Luckily, this isn’t that big of a deal, though some of the other add-ons are.

Another issue, is the edits work to limit smokable hemp sales to those 21 and above only, which include all CBD products. This means adults 18-21 wouldn’t be able to buy smokable hemp or CBD products, and they’d be treated much the same as regular cannabis. And even more questionable, the edits include charging a misdemeanor offense to people with more than two ounces of cannabis in their possession. Currently, being caught with between an ounce and a pound incurs no more than a $25 civil penalty. This idea to charge for over two ounces as a misdemeanor, came from another recommendation from the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission. It’s a strange direction to go in considering Virginia is a legalized state.

To his credit, while Youngkin certainly pulled some interesting last-minute moves in terms of defining THC, limiting smokable hemp products, and criminalizing over two ounces, he also signed a bill that will expand Virginia’s medical marijuana program to allow greater access to patients. This includes removing the requirement for medical cannabis patients to register with the Virginia Board of Pharmacy, and takes away mandates for active ingredient ratios for medical cannabis products.

Virginia

Reactions to Virginia proposal to ban delta-8

As expected, the hemp industry is none too happy with these edits that redefine THC in Virginia and ban delta-8. According to Virginia Hemp Coalition President Jason Amatucci, “We feel surprised by some of the misguided proposals in the bill. This bill will hurt job creation, hurt the economy, hurt farmers, and take away many legitimate rights for hemp consumers.

This sentiment was put more outright by president of the Virginia Healthy Alternatives Association, Yan Gleyzer, who had this to say about it: “Unfortunately, this bill turned from bad to worse… We do have to have some regulations,” but that, “we cannot wipe down the entire market because of one product.”

In reaction to the possible further criminalization of over two ounces of cannabis, the group Marijuana Justice answered this with Executive Director Chelsea Higgs Wise saying, “That’s what these new crimes do – they take people from experiencing what could be a $25 ticket to possibly spending time in jail or prison [if they’re] caught more than once with this new misdemeanor.”

On April 27th, we’ll find out if Virginia legislators agree with these ‘proposals’. If nothing else, it bears mentioning that waiting till the very last minute to change a bill that was already approved by the government, (with several extreme changes), is questionable in and of itself.

How did Virginia legalize recreational cannabis?

Virginia is interesting because it’s a southern state which has been leading the charge for cannabis legalization in that region of the country. Virginia made great strides very quickly, going from a more restrictive state, to one of 18 with a recreational legalization.

Laws started changing in April 2020, when a decriminalization bill was signed by Governor Ralph Northam. This decriminalized up to one ounce for personal use, and went into effect on July 1st, 2020. It made offenders within the limit subject solely to a $25 fine. In Spring of 2021, this was pushed up a notch when a bill amended by Northam was approved by both sides of Congress, which legalized recreational cannabis with possession up to one ounce. A retail market is slated to start in January of 2024.

cannabis

Interestingly, Virginia holds a certain designation when it comes to cannabis policies. Though it wasn’t the first state to legalize a comprehensive medical cannabis program, it was the first state to introduce some kind of medical cannabis authorization. This happened back in 1979 when Virginia reassessed its drug laws, leading to the inclusion of cannabis medicines for sufferers of cancer and glaucoma. Truth is, as nothing else changed at that time – like setting up a market, other then the allowance of such medicines, the change went virtually unnoticed for years, and wasn’t really used. Virginia didn’t introduce a comprehensive medical cannabis plan until 2017.

Conclusion

There is no legal limit for how much alcohol a person can possess, and, in fact, some people have wine cellars with so many bottles, it could be considered intent to sell. Yet somehow that goes under the radar, and the less dangerous option, cannabis, is still riddled with attempts by government to criminalize activities surrounding it, even in legalized locations!!!

What these edits say more than anything, is that the idea of legalization is not being taken seriously. In many places it seems more about bringing in government revenue, than eradicating laws that criminalize the plant. This idea of making it a misdemeanor for over two ounces is a great example of the inconsistency of cannabis legalization, especially as wine cellars are full to the brim.

In terms of Virginia and cannabinoids like delta-8, the idea of changing the definition of ‘THC’ is a little strange, but does make sense. Realistically, ‘THC’ never meant ‘delta-9’, so like it or not, including delta-8 and other cannabinoid compounds along with delta-9, isn’t far out at all.

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South Dakota Officially Regulates Delta-8, HHC, and THC-O-A

The whole cannabinoid issue has gotten more intense now that Shopify has banned anything that violates the law, likely at the behest of the US government. But in some places, it’s understood that regulating might be a better option than making these compounds illegal. Case in point: South Dakota through a new bill, now officially regulates cannabinoids delta-8, HHC, and THC-O-A.

South Dakota just passed a bill that regulates delta-8 and other cannabinoids by age. How the state will account for other issues of additives and processing has not been stated. We are an independent publication covering everything important in the cannabis field, and you can keep current by subscribing to the THC Weekly Newsletter. This will give you access to premiere deals on products like vapes, edibles, and other paraphernalia, as well as offers on your favorite cannabinoid products like HHC-O, Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10 THCTHCOTHCVTHCP HHC, which are in our “Best-of” lists. Remember… *If you do not prefer to use cannabinoid products, we don’t advise that you do. There are plenty of products in the world of cannabis, and each person should only use what they are comfortable with.

What’s the deal with the cannabinoid market?

The cannabinoid market is an entire market that functions federally illegally at the moment, but under some marketing-pushed misconception that the products are legal. And to be fair, they’re not illegal based on their own dangerous capabilities, since none of the cannabinoids themselves have shown danger. They’re illegal simply because the government hasn’t legalized them, and because of this, a strange black market has opened, which, without regulation, has becomes a rather dirty market.

The cannabinoid market is rather new, coming into being as a side-effect of the 2018 US Farm Bill, which specifically legalized the cultivation and production of industrial hemp, and associated products. In order to do this, and separate said hemp from the rest of the world of marijuana, a new definition was instituted for hemp, which came with two main stipulations, though one is not as clearly outright stated.

The first is that all hemp plants, and associated hemp products, must not surpass .3% THC. And the second is that the only thing legalized, are products directly made from the hemp plant, since nothing synthetically-derived fits the definition of hemp. This was backed up by the DEA in regards to a question asked about synthetic delta-8 THC. In its answer, the DEA referenced the definition of hemp, with that definition being:

“The plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol [(D9-THC)] concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”

Where do synthetics come in?

At no point does it say that synthetically-derived compounds are okay, and at no point does it say that a product can include hemp-derived compounds, but not be made completely from them. Thus, anything synthetically-derived, also doesn’t fit the definition, and remains under Schedule I. Why? Because synthetics of any Schedule I substance – or its analogues – (including THC), are also Schedule I, and therefore illegal, according to the Federal Analogue Act.

Why is all this talk of synthetics important? Because the cannabinoids sold are always synthetically made, even if its stated that they’re ‘hemp-derived’. This doesn’t mean that compounds like delta-8 and HHC aren’t naturally occurring, however, they occur in such small amounts, that rather than extract them directly from hemp, they are synthetically-derived from compounds like CBD. CBD and THC are currently the only two cannabinoids that exist in large enough quantities to directly use from extraction.

When it comes to compounds like delta-10 and THC-O-A, the ‘hemp-derived’ part is even more ambiguous, as these compounds are only synthetically made, and not found in nature at all. I should be clear here, ‘hemp-derived’ is being sold as a term that means ‘directly from hemp’, as this makes products fit under the definition of hemp. But what it actually means is ‘indirectly from hemp’, or ‘hemp parts used with synthetic processing’, and this no longer fits the definition.

South Dakota officially regulates delta-8 and other cannabinoids

There are two things to consider here. First, these cannabinoids have already created a widespread market. And though it’s a fringe market, it’s still there, online, as well as in brick and mortar stores. I say ‘stores’ and not ‘dispensaries’ because without regulation, these products are sold in tons of places outside dispensaries. The second thing to consider is that the cannabinoids themselves are fine, but the lack of regulation allows for seedy business techniques, dirty and mislabeled products, fake third party testing, and for chemical additives to be used that could be dangerous.

Which makes regulating the market, a much better idea than trying to backhandedly stop it through forcing sales platforms to stop selling products. This is what just happened with Shopify. Different states are making their own regulations for cannabis in general due to changing laws, and this new cannabinoid market is now factoring into new legislation.

delta-8 THC

In early 2022, The South Dakota House of Representatives initiated HB 1292 which is a bill that regulates cannabinoids delta-8 THC, HHC, and THC-O-A. The bill specifically seeks to set an age limit for sale and purchase of these cannabinoids, restricting anyone below the age of 21 from partaking. The bill doesn’t include anything else besides this idea of regulating their sale by age.

The bill, brought forth by republican representative Rep. Taylor Rehfeldt, first sought only to regulate delta-8, but was then expanded to include HHC and THC-O-A as well. An earlier bill in the session merely sought to outlaw these substances, but Rehfeldt introduced 1292 as an effort to responsibly regulate the substances instead.

Will it pass?

It did! After passing both the South Dakota House and Senate, the bill was signed into law by Gov. Kristi Noem on March 10th. Does this make all delta-8, HHC, and THC-O-A products legal to adults 21 and above? It’s hard to say, especially considering that the biggest issue in the field, is the question of regulating the actual products to make sure they are what they’re supposed to be, and to fit into laws regarding synthetics.

Bill author Rehfeldt admits that there’s more to be done in terms of regulating the industry. In regards to chemical additives, and to deal with these possible dangers, she states: “it will be important to address those issues with all stakeholders including public health, the hemp/marijuana industry, and the business community.” She stipulates that simply starting the process by setting an age limit, is a decent beginning measure.

Currently, the bill is very brief, only accounting for the age a person must be in order to buy these products. There is absolutely nothing in the bill that further regulates these products, or what’s in them. This promotes a lot of new questions. Like, are these compounds regulated the same way as regular cannabis? And, are synthetic versions allowed? And, if so, are there specific processing techniques that must be used? Without anything else said, it means South Dakota is literally promoting the dirty tactics of the cannabinoid industry, and offering no safety to consumers.

Into the future

I have yet to see anything further stated about how South Dakota plans to deal with this issue, though I do expect some sort of follow up. What’s weird about the whole thing, is why such a parse bill would be introduced, and then passed so easily. Perhaps this could be due to two different factors.

South Dakota regulates delta-8

First off, South Dakota legalized cannabis in 2020 via a ballot measure (54%), which should have included the state among 19 legalized states. In fact, South Dakota pulled double duty at the November 3rd elections, legalizing both medical and recreational cannabis with Measure 26, and Amendment A, respectively. In what I can only call a horribly corrupt tactic, South Dakota’s governor Kristi Noem conspired with local law enforcement to bring a case forward to invalidate Amendment A. They did this on the grounds that South Dakota only supports single ballot measures. The Supreme Court of the state backed Noem, and the legalization was taken away. Perhaps one reason for the new bill, is that blow-back from the removed legalization has inspired Noem to be a little looser if she wants to keep her seat.

The second thing to consider, is that these cannabinoids are based on hemp, even if they use synthetic processing techniques for the final product. This means the hemp industry wants the products to be legally available, because it spurs on the hemp industry. It has been reported that South Dakota wants to double its hemp-growing acreage, as well as to start fiber and seed processing within state. This is impressive considering South Dakota only legalized hemp production in 2020.

According to the USDA National Hemp Report for 2021, a total of 54,200 acres  of hemp were planted in the US, but only 33,500 acres were harvested. This is split into four categories: floral hemp (16,000 acres), fiber hemp (12,700 acres), grain hemp (8,255 acres), and seed hemp (3,515 acres). Hemp grown under protection is technically another category as well (358 acres). South Dakota came in 8th place with 1,850 acres planted, but had the highest harvest rate of any state with 1,700 of those acres harvested.

Of those 1,700 acres harvested, over 1,500 were dual purpose plants that can be used for both grain and fiber, which are harvested separately. South Dakota Industrial Hemp Association executive director Katie Sieverding used the report to ascertain that the value of South Dakota’s crop was $1,789,000 for grain hemp and $480,000 for fiber hemp in 2021.

When it comes to regulation, all hemp is regulated the same. And this is probably because, while there is differentiation in how the seeds are planted, and the processing methods after, all forms can produce CBD, except for seeds. So it’s quite possible that this new and growing hemp industry, also played a major role in South Dakota and its recent bill that regulates delta-8 and the cannabinoid market. A market which relies heavily on CBD, and therefore, hemp.

Conclusion

South Dakota is definitely promoting its newly won hemp industry, and the state is probably a little angry from having its voted-in recreational cannabis legalization taken away. How much these issues factor into South Dakota passing a law which regulates cannabinoids like delta-8, is hard to say. But the one thing for sure is, South Dakota certainly opened that door, and we can only speculate as to next moves.

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Disclaimer: Hi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advice, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

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Is the Death of the Cannabinoid Market Coming?

The cannabinoid market has been a strange and seedy place since it started. Not only do different cannabinoids come out weekly, advertising different benefits, but as an unregulated market these products can be sold for less money than dispensary products which are subject to cannabis taxes. Only problem? The lack of industry regulation has made this market a very sketchy, possibly dangerous place. In a new move, the US government is actually doing something about it, despite a long period of virtually no response.

The cannabinoid market is facing its first big challenge with Shopify enforcing a ban on the sale of THC products outside of regulation. What will happen next to the industry? We’ll all have to wait and see. We’ve got you covered with breaking news as it happens, so sign up for the THC Weekly Newsletter to stay up-to-date on the current news, and to get special deals on flowers, vapes, edibles, and more products! Our offers on cannabinoids, like HHC-O, Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10 THCTHCOTHCVTHCP HHC, won’t break the bank, and can still be bought here. Head over to our “Best-of” lists for these deals, and enjoy your products responsibly!


What is the cannabinoid market?

We all know what regular cannabis is, it’s been a staple recreational drug for a very long time throughout history. And we’re all aware of CBD, which has grown in popularity as a non-psychoactive part of the plant (which actually translates to a non-high-inducing part since CBD is most definitely psychoactive.) CBD has gained momentum the world over though, not just in the US.

However, the US is home to another unregulated market that came out of the same legislation that propelled CBD, the cannabinoid market. What is that? We all know THC and CBD are cannabinoids, so what is this other cannabinoid market? It’s a market made up of minor cannabinoids of the cannabis plant, most of which only show up naturally in the plant in small amounts, or which don’t actually exist in nature, and were formulated in a lab based on compounds like THC.

The most well-known at this point is delta-8 THC, an isomer of delta-9 in that they share the same chemical formula, and have very similar properties. Chemically, the only difference is the placement of a double bond, which for delta-9 takes place on the 9th carbon atom on a chain, and for delta-8, on the 8th. Delta-8 is naturally occurring, likely as a degradant of delta-9, but must be synthesized for product production since it occurs in such small amounts.

Other cannabinoid entrants into the market include delta-10 THC, THC-O, HHC, THCV, THCA, and more. As none of these cannabinoids have been through much testing, not much is known about them, with delta-8 offering the greatest amount of information. In essence, different cannabinoids have been released into the market where no information on them exists, including no testing for safety. Though it seems these compounds are not explicitly dangerous, this can never be said for sure without applicable research done, especially of the synthetics that don’t appear in nature. Which means the public is being sold completely untested products, and is being told they’re safe.

What’s the news?

In short, Shopify, one of the largest online retail platforms, is no longer allowing the sale of delta-8 THC, or any other cannabinoid with over .3% THC. This is a good time to remind everyone that the term ‘THC’ refers not specifically to delta-9 THC, but to any tetrahydrocannabinol, of which there are many, as well as any analogue of THC made synthetically. There doesn’t seem to be an official news story on the topic, and its likely that Shopify, in an effort to do this quietly, never made a press statement. Instead, letters have been sent out to retailers, explaining that any THC cannabinoid is forbidden from being sold on their sites using the Shopify platform, if the THC amount is above .3%. The company Reef Canna released their letter through MJBizWire, which states:

“It has come to our attention that you are using your Shopify account, reefcanna.myshopify.com, to sell Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) products containing more than 0.3% THC.

“Unfortunately, due to applicable laws and regulations in the United States, Shopify’s policies do not currently permit merchants to offer for sale products containing more than 0.3% THC regardless of compound type (e.g., delta-8, delta-9, delta-10).

The below products have been removed and cannot be reposted (this may not be an exhaustive list)…”

The following was a list of products by the company that Shopify is no longer allowing the brand to sell. The letter then continued:

“Please note that any further violation of Shopify’s Acceptable Use Policy (AUP), including the reposting of the content above, may result in the suspension or termination of your Shopify account.

We understand that the cannabis space is quickly evolving. In the future, if applicable federal and state laws and regulations in the United States change, we may be able to support these products on Shopify.

Please carefully review the rest of your shop to ensure it complies with Shopify’s AUP and Terms of Service.

More information about selling hemp-derived products can be found here.

Best regards,

– Shopify”

To show just how confused many writers are, the writer of the article containing the letter, goes on to tell consumers that they can still buy legal delta-9 in 10mg gummies if its hemp-derived. This is not actually true, as hemp-derived THC is synthetic, and would therefore still not meet regulation, even if the gummy is four grams, making the delta-9 content less than .3%. It also states that HHC is fine as well, but this is also synthetic, which means it too is not covered by the Farm Bill, and as an analogue of delta-9, is therefore illegal.

compliance

This letter might specify everything under the umbrella of ‘THC’, but in order to be in compliance with the law, Shopify would also have to rule out all synthetics. On the Shopify website it has been made clear that all FDA regulation must be followed for selling hemp-derived products, and even requires merchants to fill out an ‘Attestation’ in order to sell hemp and hemp-derived products on their sites.

Why did this happen?

The confusion over the cannabinoid market stems from the 2018 US Farm Bill. The Farm Bill legalized the production of industrial hemp so long as the THC content is no more than .3% in dry weight for the plant, as well as for final products. The thing is, this was meant strictly for industrial hemp. However, it was taken up by many as a way to advertise and sell cannabinoids that aren’t specifically delta-9 THC, and which can technically be derived from the hemp plant, by simply saying that the level of delta-9 THC in the products meets regulation. The problem with this argument, is that it never made sense.

The way industrial hemp got legalized, was by making a definition for it that separated it from marijuana. The definition for hemp became: “The plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of the plant, whether growing or not, including the plant’s seeds, and all the plant’s derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”

Not only is this meant for industrial hemp only, but the wording of it specifically states any product made must come exclusively from the hemp plant. Which means it in no way legalized anything synthetically derived, or anything meant for medical or health supplementation. When the bill came out, hemp cultivation and production went from being regulated by the FDA, to the USDA, but nothing else moved, leaving everything else under FDA regulation. And it’s the FDA that regulates anything taken internally for supplemental or medical purposes.

This was all backed up when a confirmation letter was sent to the Alabama Board of Pharmacy’s executive director Donna C. Yeatman, R.Ph. from the DEA in reference to the legality of delta-8. It explained “D8-THC is a tetrahydrocannabinol substance contained in the plant Cannabis sativa L. and also can be produced synthetically from non-cannabis materials… Thus, D8-THC synthetically produced from non-cannabis materials is controlled under the CSA as a “tetrahydrocannabinol.”” Tetrahydrocannabinols are Schedule I, and this goes for any other synthetically made analogue of THC as well.

Why does it matter?

This could have gone in different directions. But since the US government is holding fast to keeping cannabis illegal (for now), the idea that these substances will get regulated, is not very realistic. Instead, they proliferated as part of an untaxed, unregulated black market, being sold in fake dispensaries, all kinds of other stores, and the internet, since without regulation, they don’t need to be sold in legitimate dispensaries only.

cannabinoid

The problem with no regulation is that the market can be taken advantage of by seedy retailers, who lie about their products, and what’s in them. In fact, the market has gone so far south as to institute fake 3rd party testing facilities to encourage trust in consumers, through bogus safety results. And though the cannabinoids themselves are unlikely (but not definitely) the cause, without regulation, retailers can put whatever they want in a product, from extra chemicals to flavor, stabilize, or thin out vape oils, to cheaper synthetics in products like vape cartridges and edibles.

There have already been stories of lawsuits against companies whose products were found to contain high doses of THC, while advertising only CBD, as well as fatalities involved with poisonings from bad products. Technically the numbers are still low – (let’s remember the US government is totally cool with allowing opioids which come with a massive death toll), but it does present the problem of a growing market, that gets dirtier as it gets bigger, with no accountability whatsoever.

In the end, the US government likely cares way less about the safety issues (opioids remember), than it does about having black market industries it can’t control. Though it’s done virtually nothing to stop this industry thus far, (probably because of the cost and unpopularity of fighting wars on drugs, especially when the drugs have no real death count), it seems it did finally make a move. It might do the same with other major platforms as well, but how much this will actually root out the problem is hard to say, considering how many outlets sell these cannabinoids.

Conclusion

The US government has been pretty quiet thus far when it comes to the cannabinoid market. Apart from backing up the Farm Bill and legalities (eg – the letter to Alabama), and making a few random busts, it seemed the government was at a stand still. This move through Shopify does show a desire to gain control of the situation. But the real questions are: 1) Is forcing Shopify to force retailers to comply enough? 2) Will more online retail platforms also get letters? And 3) what impact can this have when tons of physical locations also sell these products? Stay tuned to find out.

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Disclaimer: Hi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advice, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

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Is Synthetic THC the Same as Natural THC?

There’s a lot of talk about synthetics in the cannabis industry, and for good reason, there are a bunch. But, what exactly does this mean? And why are we sometimes told synthetics are bad, and other times told they’re the only thing we should use? And how close is something like synthetic THC to its natural THC counterpart? The world of synthetics can be a confusing place, let’s take a look.

Synthetic THC can be perfectly fine, just ask the government about dronabinol the next time it tells you synthetics are categorically bad! We cover everything in the cannabis and psychedelics industry, and work everyday to get you the best stories out there. Check out the THC Weekly Newsletter to stay in-the-loop on what’s going on, and to get special access to deals on flowers, vapes, edibles, and more! We’ve also got great offers on cannabinoids, like HHC-O, Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10 THCTHCOTHCVTHCP HHC, which won’t leave a hole in your pocket. Take a look at our “Best-of” lists to find them, and enjoy responsibly!


What’s a synthetic?

First off, whether you promote them or are scared of them, the definition of a synthetic is the same either way. A synthetic drug is something that’s put together by a human using component parts, rather than being built by nature. A synthetic can’t grow in the ground, but something that does grow in the ground, can have a synthetic version of itself made. In a laboratory, the same compounds that make up the natural one, can be put together using different processes.

Are these processes safe? Sometimes, sure. But sometimes not as much, or with caveats that require chemicals to be used that can interfere with the final product. In essence, a synthetic version of something like THC is meant to be an identical version of natural THC. But that identical version might be tainted by chemical residue.

And then there are synthetic drugs that aren’t made to replicate anything that exists in nature. Some are just drugs created in a lab, like LSD, which though based off the ergot fungus, is its own compound, which isn’t a replication of anything. Or delta-10, which is very similar to delta-9, but which is only created in a lab. They are not exact replicas of something existent, meaning they only show up as synthetic drugs. Big Pharma also provides synthetic THC medications like Marinol/Syndros (AKA dronabinol) and Cesamet (AKA nabilone). While nabilone is said to be based on THC, but not identical, dronabinol is a direct replica of THC, with the exact same chemical formula and makeup.

So the only versions of marijuana with any approval, are strictly synthetics, yet we are constantly told that synthetics are dangerous. And generally, when being told they’re dangerous, the pharma options are left out, and the drugs that get designated as synthetics are Spice, K2, and fake cannabinoids, which are put in a grouping with bath salts and methamphetamine, rather than with dronabinol, nabilone, or any opioid on the market.

Yup the entire opioids industry is all synthetic. The government isn’t handing out poppy flowers for people to smoke, they’re putting them on synthetic versions of opiates like hydrocodone and fentanyl. In fact, every pharma product is a synthetic, since plants can’t be patented, and would never end up in a pharmaceutical product. Kind of takes the air out of the argument against synthetics, when the argument comes from the medical industry and government, which together provide for synthetics only.

Is synthetic THC a big thing?

Yes, synthetic THC is widely used. Partly as a pharmaceutical drug through the use of dronabinol (and similar drugs like nabilone), partly because in some places there isn’t access to regular cannabis because of local government bans, partly because even when real cannabis is available in some places, its not as cost-effective as synthetic products, and partly because there’s a widely used black market that uses cheaper synthetics in products like vape carts and edibles, and often sells them out of fake dispensaries.

There was a time when I was abroad when all I could get was synthetic weed. It didn’t look like weed, but rather, like a handful of something picked up off the ground. Which I imagine had something sprayed on it. Most of the time it was perfectly fine, but a couple times I get very sick, which ended my use of fake weed. Do I blame this on whatever synthetic compound was in it? No, I think it was more likely related to random vegetation being used, which could have been fertilized, or have rat poison in it, or something else liable to make me sick.

Obviously, we all love THC, it’s the driving force behind weed. The first pharma cannabis product to come out, dronabinol, is synthetic THC, and this is because it’s understood that there is a strong and valid medical value. So regardless of whether its being used to induce the appetite of a cancer patient going through chemo, or used to make yourself super high after a long day, it’s a sought after compound, which explains the consistency of the weed industry, despite constant efforts to thwart it with regulation and smear campaigns.

What about the cannabinoids industry?

The cannabinoids industry is a great example of the popularity of synthetic THC products. The cannabinoids industry is a fringe, but currently stable, part of the cannabis industry that relies entirely on synthetics, both of already existent compounds, and of compounds that don’t exist in nature. Take delta-8 THC, for example. Delta-8 THC exists as a natural compound, but though it can be sourced directly from the plant, it’s available in tiny amounts only, which is not enough for production. Therefore, any delta-8 product you see, is synthetically made by converting either delta-9 or CBD to delta-8.

cannabinoids

Delta-8 THC is therefore like dronabinol. They are both the same as what occurs in nature, but made in a lab, which requires the use of chemicals to force the conversion. However, in the delta-8 industry, the lack of regulation means that a consumer isn’t necessarily going to get what they think they are. So though the delta-8 sold is said to be ‘hemp-derived’, or ‘naturally-derived’, its actually synthetic, and since none of the companies producing it are regulated, its also not necessarily delta-8 at all. And that’s a problem.

This is true of the other cannabinoids as well, like CBG, HHC, THC-O, delta-10, and so on. Whether naturally occurring or not, they are only sold synthetically, even though they are said to be hemp-derived. Delta-9 is also being sold as hemp-derived, as a means of getting around regulation, when in reality, just means synthetic delta-9. What else is synthetic delta-9? Dronabinol! What gives dronabinol a leg up? It’s sure to be what it’s supposed to be, whereas cannabinoids sold in the cannabinoids market, have no such guarantee.

Are synthetics dangerous?

This is an interesting question, because if you want a sweeping answer of ‘yes’, then the government and big pharma are pushing dangerous medications. If you want a sweeping answer of ‘no’, then it validates what is actually a very dirty industry. Far as I can tell, the answer is somewhere in the middle.

The cannabinoids industry is dirty and disgusting, down to fake labs to give fake results to encourage trust among consumers. When people get sick from vape cartridges, it tends to be from something added in. And that’s one of the big problems with an unregulated market. Add in unsafe chemicals used for flavoring, coloring, stabilizing, or simply to create a stronger drug, and people can definitely get hurt. Just like when I smoked the fake weed that made me sick. It probably wasn’t the synthetic chemical meant to make me high that made me sick, but something bad added in there.

The two main issues that I see with synthetics industries, are 1) added chemicals that can make people sick, and 2) chemicals used in processing that might not be eradicated by the end, making for a tainted product. The positive of the government sanctioned options, is that they should at least be clean of added chemicals, though this says nothing for processing techniques.

Plus, if we decide the synthetics made by Big Pharma are totally cool, then there would be no reason not to allow the plant itself, since these synthetics are identical to, or closely based off, the plant. In fact, the biggest different between the regulated synthetics industry (Big Pharma) and the unregulated synthetics industry (delta-8 sellers etc..), is that one is government approved, and one is not. So one goes by regulation, and one does not. One gets taxed as a cannabis product, and one does not.

synthetic THC

Recent news of Shopify banning the sale of unregulated cannabinoids looks to be the first major effort of the US government to thwart the industry. And considering how filthy it is, with fake products that don’t meet description, this isn’t necessarily bad. Realistically, most of us still have access to the plant, so we shouldn’t need synthetics anyway.

As far as answering the question of whether synthetics are dangerous, it really depends on who you ask. Cannabinoid sellers lie about their products being ‘naturally-derived’, which means they’re trying to avoid saying that what they’re selling is synthetic. Companies that outright lie are dangerous to begin with, and its hard to trust that their products are safe. On the other hand, the government loves spreading the line that synthetics are dangerous, while at the very same time promoting them through Big Pharma. So neither side is being particularly helpful in proving a point. It seems to me that the synthetics themselves aren’t necessarily bad, but that the industry around them, or the production techniques to make them, can lead to dirty products.

I find France vs the EU as a great story to highlight just how far governments will go to ban a natural product while selling a synthetic version of it. France lost because it couldn’t show the EU’s highest court how CBD was dangerous, which is probably because if it had tried to make that argument, the same argument could have been used against the country for selling the pharma version Epidiolex. France lost, making natural CBD legal all throughout the EU. If it had won, it would have barred the import of natural CBD from other EU countries, while selling the synthetic version, Epidiolex, in France.

Conclusion

I’ve used plenty of synthetic THC in life without dying, and so have many other consumers. Realistically, barely any of us have had an issue. This does nothing to abate safety concerns related to unwanted chemicals, or effects, but it does imply that there generally shouldn’t be a problem. It should always be remembered that there are two parts to this industry, a regulated one and an unregulated one. And whatever is said about safety, is generally guided by which market it’s a part of. That something like bath salts would be considered in any way similar to something like delta-8 THC, is a great reminder of how much information is skewed for consumers.

So just remember the next time the government tells you all synthetics are bad, that the government only approves synthetic medications! Perhaps we’d all be doing a bit better if the government saw fit to hand out poppies rather than fentanyl. In fact, opioids are a great place to see the idea of synthetic vs real, because no one seems to die from poppies, whereas 60,000+ die a year from overdoses on synthetic opioids, with that number on an upward trajectory. The government tends to say what’s convenient at the time to make tax money. If it really wanted to rule out synthetic cannabis, it would be ruling out Big Pharma as well.

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Disclaimer: Hi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advice, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

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