Delta-8 — An Unpopular Opinion

Lieze Boshoff | LBC3 Marketing
4 min readApr 28, 2021

Delta-8, or delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol, is synthetically derived from CBD and is chemically similar to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol — the naturally occurring cannabinoid better known simply as THC. Because of this chemical similarity to delta-9 THC, delta-8 THC has very similar effects as its more notorious sibling, causing euphoria, happiness, sedation and so on and so forth.

Because of this delta-8 is hot right now.

Tons of Cannabis | CBD brands are developing delta-8 products and getting in on the buzz (no pun intended). But as with anything and everything cannabis related, this is a potentially slippery slope, and I’m truly concerned about the potential fallout from the marketing and selling of this synthetic cannabinoid.

One reason for delta-8’s popularity with cannabis | CBD brands and consumers alike is that it’s derived from hemp. And with the 2018 farm bill, a federal act passed by Congress effectively legalising hemp and its derivatives in the United States, theoretically at least, this should also make delta-8 THC federally legal.

But it’s never that simple and the legal status of delta-8 THC is at best, hazy.

This is because in the fall of 2020, the DEA issued an “Interim Final Rule” (open for review until October 2021) which stated that

…synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols remain schedule 1 controlled substances.”

In addition, although products containing Delta-8 THC do not appear to be prohibited by FDA regulations, they must still receive pre-market approval.

And here is my unpopular opinion…

  1. We Might Be Putting Consumers at Risk

My first issue with delta-8 is that, unlike naturally occurring cannabinoids like CBD and delta-9 THC, delta-8 is a synthetically derived cannabinoid. And if we’re really honest with ourselves, we know very little about delta-8.

So the question is, do we really know what we’re selling?

Currently, it’s being consumed in everything from tinctures and gummies, to vapes and dabs, but do we really have any idea of its safety profile as a synthetic cannabinoid? Never mind delta-8’s psychotropic, physiological and psychological…

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Lieze Boshoff | LBC3 Marketing

Lieze Boshoff (B.Psych, M.SC (HCN)) is the founder of LBC3 Marketing, a content marketing agency with 5+ years of exclusive Cannabis | CBD industry experience