What Makes Cannabis Any Better?
While I frequently remind people that cannabis and hemp are the same plant, grown in different ways, with different genetic variations. The two industries are light years apart.
Legal cannabis is regulated at a state-level. This doesn’t mean the regulations are ‘less-stringent’ — remember there are no federal regulations about cannabis cultivation because it’s still illegal in the fed’s eyes. State regulations are very strict, and violations are severe. Every single thing that goes into the cultivation of those plants is monitored, tested, regulated, and controlled.
In today’s world of legal cannabis, consumers know exactly what they are consuming. Numerous companies have been shut down for contaminated products, improper dosing, and blatantly ignoring regulations. Ingredient labels spell out every nutrient that was used during cultivation.
Unfortunately, the same is not true for the hemp industry. There are no mandated testing requirements, there are no labeling requirements, and enforcement of shady marketing practices is nearly impossible. In fact, some of these companies are labeling their products “THC-free” — despite the fact that Delta-8 is, itself, a form of THC.
Delta-8 Is NOT Legal
Delta-8 producers are banking on semantics in the game of legality. As I stated earlier, they claim because Delta-8 THC is a naturally occurring cannabinoid and the process starts with CBD extracted from hemp (and not just chemically produced) that Delta-8 THC is not technically “synthesized,” instead it’s “converted” using laboratory processes.
In other words, they claim “synthesized” means made entirely in a lab, whereas “conversion” is the chemical alteration of one natural substance to another natural substance. Tomayto/Tomahto — it’s made in a lab.
You want to know the irony of this… in Colorado (and 10 other states) — Delta-8 THC is explicitly illegal by state law. A cannabis and hemp-loving state has banned the sale of Delta-8 THC. Several states ban Delta-8-THC in their state laws. These states include Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, Rhode Island, and Utah. Why? Because they know it is a man-made cannabinoid. Why is this bad?
The USDA Final Ruling states explicitly that ALL synthetic forms of tetrahydrocannabinols are federally controlled substances. Why do they want to do this? Because they prefer pharmaceutical-grade chemists to create synthetics for specific medical use. Not a junior lab technician in a lab that opened six months ago, and definitely not “Joe Hemp Farmer” in his Morton building, who watched a YouTube video about how to do it.
Be Patient, The Real Deal is Coming
As Lerner stated in her year-end report on the hemp market, when the pandemic hit, cannabis was deemed essential, ultimately causing the industry to boom. Unfortunately, the opposite was true of the CBD market. She said, “Why have a non-fat, decaf, sugar-free latte when you can have the real deal?”
Look, I get it — people want to get high, especially those who live in non-legal states. But is it worth stomping on the legacy of an industry and bastardizing the natural plant to chase it? Legal cannabis is coming, people… find patience.