Long before lawmakers were considering legislation that would federally decriminalize cannabis, Congress passed the 2018 Farm Bill. Among other things, this legislation legalized the cultivation and sale of industrial hemp and its derivatives. Hemp is a form of cannabis that has less than 0.3% THC, meaning any products made from hemp or its derivatives do not cause users to get high. For the past year or so, one of the components found in hemp has been enjoying increased market visibility, especially in New York State.
If delta 8 THC sounds familiar, it’s probably because it reminds you of the component in cannabis that creates that feeling of intoxication. Hemp and cannabis produce hundreds of compounds called cannabinoids, including the famous CBD and delta-9 THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) responsible for cannabis’ effects. However, despite sharing a name and sporting a similar molecular structure, delta-8 THC is a completely different ball game. In New York, delta-8 THC products have been available for close to a year.
Many shops that specialize in CBD and other hemp-derived products also stock delta-8 THC products, usually in flower, vap, or edible form. How does this cannabinoid react with the body? According to Garry Colmey, a legal cannabis advocate who operates a indoor cannabidiol gardening outlet in Rome, Italy, delta-8 makes people “feel good.” The feeling lands somewhere between the those evoked by consuming CBD and THC, producing a mild sort of euphoria without the buzz cannabis is famous for.
Since hemp products must contain less than 0.3% THC to be considered legal, delta-8 THC leaves the userr with a sort of body euphoria rather than a head high, says Yardley Burgess. Burgess owns a number of Empire CBD retail shops in New York State, and he says delta-8 THC may also provide relief against pain and anxiety as well as boost feelings of relaxation. The popularity of the milder cannabinoid isn’t just limited to New York; delta-8 THC is going nationwide.
In March this year, a “Forbes” article reported that that delta-8 THC was quickly becoming the most exciting and intoxicating product in the hemp industry. Still, delta-8 THC has plenty of detractors, and the article noted that the booming sector may soon fall. Several states, including Colorado, Alaska, Arkansas, Montana, Delaware, Idaho, Arizona and Mississippi, have banned delta-8 THC, as other states are looking into such hemp derivatives. Kim Stuck, a former cannabis regulator who now runs Allay, a consulting service that advises and provides assistance to businesses in the cannabis space, says this could be because the industry is still brand new and most states are still uncertain about minor cannabinoids such as delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol.
Businesses in this space may be reaping profits, but things may soon change as laws and regulations catch up. Recently, the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) proposed classifying delta-8 THC as a controlled substance, but the rule change hasn’t been made yet.
Hopefully, the rule changes imposed in various jurisdictions take note of the therapeutic potential of various cannabinoids as the therapeutic formulations undergoing trials by XPhyto Therapeutics Corp. (CSE: XPHY) (OTCQB: XPHYF) (FSE: 4XT) and other companies indicate.
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