What is Delta-8 and is it legal in West Virginia?

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — The Barbour County Sheriff’s Department posted a public notice for parents on its Facebook page Monday, warning about Delta-8 products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the same psychoactive substance that causes it that people get high from marijuana use.

FILE – The West Virginia Department of Agriculture issued a warning that some produce is being illegally sold in West Virginia and mislabeled at Delta-8.

The sheriff’s department warned that the products are small and easy to conceal, that they sometimes have no odor because children avoid exhaling the fumes and can thus avoid detection, and that the products are often in brightly colored packaging, from which it says that they are marketed to children.

The alert came just over two weeks after three students at Philip Barbour High School were taken to hospital after they “had very serious and adverse reactions to something”. MPs still haven’t clarified what the substance was but said it wasn’t fentanyl.

If it contains THC, how is it sold?

Delta-8-THC is not illegal at the federal level due to the 2018 Farm Bill, which removed hemp and cannabis derivatives with extremely low concentrations of delta-9-THC from the definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Since there are no federal regulations, it is up to the individual states to make laws around Delta-8.

West Virginia has not banned Delta-8; However, in February, State Senator Jack Woodrum (R-Summers) introduced a bill to add delta-8-THC to the Schedule 1 controlled substances list. The bill died in committee.

Although it may be legal, the Barbour County Sheriff’s Department warned that because it contains THC, it shows up on drug tests and isn’t allowed in schools or other places with a zero-tolerance drug policy.

Like CBD products that do not contain THC, Delta-8 products can be sold as edibles, vape liquid, whole herb, and other forms.

Is it safe?

Earlier this year, the FDA issued a warning about Delta-8, citing several concerns, including the fact that the products, although sold in stores and online, have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA for safe use. This raises concerns such as variability in product formulations and labeling, different cannabinoid and terpene levels, and variable delta-8 THC concentrations for the FDA.

In addition, the FDA said it had received reports of adverse events affecting products containing delta-8-THC; of which, according to the FDA, 55% required medical intervention or hospitalization. According to the FDA, these adverse events included hallucinations, vomiting, tremors, anxiety, dizziness, confusion and loss of consciousness.

In addition, the FDA warned that some manufacturers may use potentially unsafe household chemicals to create delta-8-THC or change the color of the end product, so those end products may contain harmful chemical by-products. Without FDA regulations, the products may have been manufactured in an unsanitary environment, which poses additional risks of contamination.

The FDA warned that delta-8-THC products should be kept out of the reach of children and pets due to child-friendly marketing and potential health risks.