Recent FDA Enforcement Action Colors Regulatory Landscape for Delta-8 THC Products
Much like the ambiguous landscape involving cannabidiol (CBD) products on the consumer market, an influx of delta-8 THC containing products for consumption has highlighted a recurrent regulatory issue surrounding the legality of hemp derived products at the federal level. is delta 8 legal The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (the “2018 Farm Bill”), which, among other things, offered a federal definition of hemp and removed it from the list of Schedule I controlled substances, specifically carved out hemp derived products with less than 0. 3% delta-9-tetrahydocannabinol (THC) on a dry weight basis, thereby allowing products that meet this definition to flood the consumer markets.
Recently, delta-8 THC, which is less potent than delta-9 THC, but which produces a similar psychoactive effect to marijuana, has entered the mainstream consumer market. Because the restrictions on THC content outlined in the 2018 Farm Bill primarily apply to delta-9 THC products, producers can still legally sell delta-8 THC products in states with no legal marijuana market, so long as they meet the definition of hemp supplied by the 2018 Farm Bill.
In September 2021, the food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued and updated a consumer advisory outlining consumer safety concerns related to delta-8 products. The consumer advisory highlighted the fact that no delta-8 THC products have been evaluated or approved by the FDA, and many of the methods used to derive delta-8 THC synthetically involve the use of potentially harmful chemicals. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued similar guidance warning consumers of the rise in hospitalization reports and adverse event incidents related to delta-8 THC.