In recent years, hemp-derived THC products have gained a large amount of attention due to its legal status in most US states. The cannabinoids found in hemp plants, such as Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC, have been associated with many positive effects, making them candidates for various health applications. However, beneath the surface of this budding industry lies a concerning reality – the lack of regulation and oversight that threatens the safety of consumers. In this blog post, we delve into the dangers of using hemp-derived THC products and shed light on the potential hazards associated with their production, distribution, and consumption.
Unsafe Extraction and Synthesis
At the heart of the issue is the process of converting cannabinoids, like CBD, into compounds such as Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC. These cannabinoids are only found in very small amounts within the hemp plant. So small, that extra chemicals are needed to obtain it. This conversion needs the use of various chemical processes and reagents, and here lies a significant concern. Manufacturers often resort to potentially unsafe chemicals to extract these valuable compounds from the hemp plant. The lack of industry-wide standards and regulations means that the methods employed can be inconsistent and even hazardous.
Lack of Regulation and Testing
One of the most alarming aspects of the hemp-derived THC industry is the lack of comprehensive regulation and testing. Unlike pharmaceuticals, these products are not subjected to testing for contaminants such as pesticides, heavy metals, and residual solvents. As a result, consumers are left in the dark about the potentially harmful substances in the products they are consuming.
The Vermont Ban
In May 2020, The Vermont Department of Agriculture took a stand by banning the use of synthetic cannabinoids. This move acknowledges the inherent risks associated with these compounds, particularly when they are artificially synthesized. It’s important to note that these molecules on their own are not dangerous – it’s the manufacturing processes and lack of regulation that magnify the potential hazards.
Cannabinoid Conversion Process
The conversion of hemp-derived cannabinoids is a complex process involving heat, acids, and various solvents. Unlike straightforward extractions, this process introduces additional chemical reactions, creating potential byproducts that need to be removed to ensure product safety. However, without stringent regulations and quality control, the likelihood of residual solvents and byproducts making their way into the final product is a significant concern.
Contaminants and Inconsistent Dosing
Lack of regulation and testing in the hemp industry leaves the door open for contaminants to infiltrate the final products. This, combined with the inconsistent dosing of these converted cannabinoid products, elevates the risk of adverse effects for consumers. This makes it challenging for consumers to gauge how much is too much.
The Corner Store Issue
One of the most worrisome aspects of this issue is the ease with which these products are accessible to consumers. Hemp-derived THC products are often sold in corner stores alongside alcohol and tobacco, without any education, testing, or age verification. This poses a threat to consumer health, as individuals might inadvertently consume unsafe products without proper knowledge or understanding.
Regulation and Awareness
While hemp-derived THC products hold promise as potential wellness solutions, the industry’s lack of regulation and testing casts a shadow over their safety. The allure of these products should not blind us to the very real dangers that can arise from using them. Regulatory bodies and consumers need to uphold standards to ensure that these products are free from harmful contaminants. As consumers, it’s essential to be informed and advocate for a safer, more responsible industry.
While we do NOT carry hemp-derived THC products, we DO carry the safe stuff! View our menu here.