Delta-8 THC Study Highlights Safety, Legality, and Accuracy Issues

By | Updated on December 20, 2023

Evidence Based 1

Key takeaways:

  • The researchers used different methods to convert pure CBD into delta-8 THC.
  • They tested the resulting delta-8 THC solutions and commercially available delta-8 gummies, finding that they both contained not only delta-8 but also illegal amounts of delta-9 THC and other cannabinoids we don’t know much about.
  • The findings highlight the need for regulation of delta-8 THC production since it can lead to products that are inaccurate, illegal, and potentially unsafe.

A new study by Dutch and Chinese scientists highlights ongoing problems with the safety, legality, and accuracy of delta-8 THC products. 

The researchers treated pure cannabidiol (CBD) powder with acid to transform it into intoxicating delta-8 THC — the method used to make delta-8 products like gummies and vapes. 

They used eight different approaches and found that the conversion typically produced not just delta-8 THC but also large amounts of delta-9 THC (as much as 49%), a different form of THC called isoTHC, and other THC isomers (molecules with the same molecular formula but a different arrangement of atoms).

The researchers also tested commercially available delta-8 THC gummies, finding that they contained more delta-9 THC than claimed and carried isoTHC.

These findings have important implications:

  • Many delta-8 products contain illegal (over 0.3%) amounts of delta-9 THC. And if the levels of delta-9 THC are high enough, they can also pose a safety risk to unsuspecting users. 
  • Delta-8 products are likely to contain inaccurate amounts of delta-8 THC, largely because it’s difficult for lab tests to differentiate between delta-8, isoTHC, and other THC isomers.
  • There are safety concerns with isoTHC, THC isomers, and other unknown cannabinoids produced as byproducts during the conversion of CBD delta-8 THC. They haven’t been studied much (or at all).

The researchers concluded that “these findings highlight the urgency of improving regulations towards converting CBD to Δ8-THC for use as food ingredients.”

Delta-8 THC remains federally legal in the United States, but many individual states have chosen to ban or regulate it.

Leave a Comment