Tag Archives: CBD

The Devil is in THC Details

The mainstream media makes CBD seem harmless, but what happens when chemists turn it into the Delta forms of THC?  The problem is that CBD, which is legal and widely available, can be converted –or “isomerized” in a lab — into various THC derivatives. These derivatives become 3 times stronger through the “acetylation” process. 

Because of these processes, legal CBD-based products may cause mental impairments such as psychosis, similar to Delta-9 THC. 

Today, almost any person in the US can buy CBD-derived Delta-8 THC, Delta-10 THC, and acetylated THC products in local shops or online.  Vape shops and gas stations advertise the Delta products, because they’ve found a means of selling THC in the states where marijuana isn’t legal.  In some states where weed is legal, buying the Deltas allows consumers to get out of paying state taxes on marijuana.  

These problems resulted unexpectedly from legalizing hemp in the 2018 Agriculture Bill, as explained in Part 1:  The Problem of Delta-8 and other THC Analogs.

Even if they can’t be sold legally to teens, Delta-8 and other THC analogs get into the hands of our teens. Some of the youths who recently died by suicide were vaping Delta-8 THC.

The ABCs of THC chemistry

The word “cannabinoids” refers to the many naturally occurring chemical compounds in cannabis plants, specifically hemp and marijuana plants.  While there are hundreds of naturally occurring cannabinoids in hemp and marijuana, the two most well-known cannabinoids are CBD from the hemp plant and THC from the marijuana plant.  THC is also known as Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol or Delta-9 THC. 

Made by nature or in labs?

An “isomer” is a molecule that has the exact same molecular formula as another molecule.  A well-known example of a molecular formula is water, or, H2O.  Water’s molecular formula specifies that it contains two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom.  Pivoting the discussion to CBD, the molecular formula for this molecule is the same as Delta-9 THC; therefore, CBD and Delta-9 THC are considered isomers of one another.  What is different about these two molecules is the arrangement of the atoms, which causes the human body to respond to each one differently.

“Isomerization” is a chemical process whereby one isomer can be transformed structurally into another isomer by the use of other chemicals.  After the process occurs, the resulting chemical needs to be further processed to remove any residual byproducts.

Today, legal CBD can be isomerized into various THC derivatives.  These derivatives include Delta 8-THC, Delta 9-THC, and Delta-10 THC.  All of these have the exact same molecular formula and are therefore isomers of one another.  The arrangement of the atoms of each molecule is what differentiates one from another.

Delta-8 THC

Delta 8-THC is about one-third as potent as Delta-9 THC, but there are anecdotal reports of Delta-8 THC users becoming just as psychotic as those who use Delta-9 THC. (Read our previous article on Delta 8-THC.) Delta 10-THC is also reported to be less potent than Delta 9-THC.  Delta-8 THC and Delta-10 THC are legal because they are derived from federally legal hemp. Many states have recently banned or restricted the sale of these chemicals because of the expected health risks.  Similarly, the FDA recently issued a warning about the health risks of Delta-8 THC.  

Delta 8-THC becomes more potent by using the same chemical process that creates heroin out of morphine.  The chemical process used to convert morphine into heroin is called “acetylation”.  When this process is applied to Delta 8-THC, the resulting chemical could be just as potent as Delta 9-THC.  Delta 9-THC can be acetylated and made about three times more potent than its original form. We do not have data on whether acetylated THC derivatives are more addictive. Increased addictiveness and potency are hallmarks of heroin when compared to morphine. The US Army studied Acetylated Delta-9 THC and found it to be so potent that it was considered a possible chemical warfare agent that could physically incapacitate enemy troops during the Cold War.

Little information is available about the possible adverse side-effects of Delta-10 THC because it is very new to the market.

The Discovery of Delta-10 THC

Circling back to Delta 10-THC, this is where the isomerization process gets very interesting. In 1984, an Israeli scientist documented the earliest scienc-based information on the synthesis of Delta-10 THC.

Fusion Farms, a marijuana farm in California, was hit by wildfires in the summer of 2020. To suppress the fires, firefighters used fire retardants via aircraft which subsequently contaminated the marijuana crops at Fusion Farms. After the fires subsided, the farm processed the plant material that remained. During the processing, they found the end product contained Delta 10-THC, rather than the Delta 9-THC which they expected.

It is absolute madness for these unregulated, dangerous chemicals to be considered legal — simply because they’re derived from the CBD found in the hemp plant before industrial processing turns them into another form of THC.

Claiming that these forms of THC are natural is wrong. There’s nothing natural about what is currently sold as THC and has been transformed through industrial laboratory processes. The end results often affect our young people’s minds permanently. Cannabinoids are very complicated and THC details matter.

Jesse LeBlanc, a mechanical engineer with experience in the chemical industry and member of our Board of Directors,  wrote this paper. Read his previous article on Delta-8 THC. 

On February 1, Dr. Aaron Weiner and IASIC will present a free webinar on Delta-8, THC-0 and the future of cannabis.  Register here: https://julnet.swoogo.com/iasic-seminars/1510302

The Problem with Delta – 8 THC and other THC Analogs

Why is the United States passively allowing the manufacture, sale, and use of Delta 8-THC, Delta 10-THC, and THC-O, all of which are harmful chemicals that may be even more damaging than nicotine/tobacco? Why is this happening in a supposedly science-based society? Could this be occurring because of loopholes in the 2018 Agriculture Bill?

Currently, hemp-derived CBD is being synthesized and converted into these chemicals, which are then made into different products for retail sale.¹ ² ³ We can see many of these products being advertised for sale online, in vape & smoke shops, gas stations, and convenience stores in almost every state. These items are even being marketed to children through the use of very inviting packaging and products, such as the all popular gummy bears. Luckily, some state authorities have decided to stop the sale of these products because health officials have identified that there is a potential for serious harm when using these chemicals.

The FDA even recently issued a warning about one of these synthetically produced chemicals, namely Delta 8-THC: https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/5-things-know-about-delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol-delta-8-thc. Continue reading The Problem with Delta – 8 THC and other THC Analogs

Is Marijuana a True Medicine?

How Marijuana Passes as a Medication

Cannabis has been legalized, by vote, to be a “medication” in many states across the United States. No other medication in the US has been voted on and elected as a treatment option for illness. Because marijuana remains federally illegal, the FDA technically doesn’t have oversight over the production of the final marijuana products – including CBD, THC and combination THC/CBD products. Each state makes their own regulations and establishes their own regulatory system.

Continue reading Is Marijuana a True Medicine?

What You Need to Know About Cannabis-derived Compounds and CBD

The FDA is working to answer questions about the science, safety, and quality of products containing cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds, particularly CBD.

The FDA issued this statement on 11/25/19

  • The FDA has approved only one CBD product, a prescription drug product to treat two rare, severe forms of epilepsy.
  • It is currently illegal to market CBD by adding it to a food or labeling it as a dietary supplement.
  • The FDA has seen only limited data about CBD safety and these data point to real risks that need to be considered before taking CBD for any reason.
  • Some CBD products are being marketed with unproven medical claims and are of unknown quality.
  • The FDA will continue to update the public as it learns more about CBD.
  • CBD has the potential to harm you, and harm can happen even before you become aware of it.
    • CBD can cause liver injury.
    • CBD can affect the metabolism of other drugs, causing serious side effects.
    • Use of CBD with alcohol or other Central Nervous System depressants increases the risk of sedation and drowsiness, which can lead to injuries.
  • CBD can cause side effects that you might notice. These side effects should improve when CBD is stopped or when the amount ingested is reduced.
    • Changes in alertness, most commonly experienced as somnolence (drowsiness or sleepiness).
    • Gastrointestinal distress, most commonly experienced as diarrhea and/or decreased appetite.
    • Changes in mood, most commonly experienced as irritability and agitation.
  • There are many important aspects about CBD that we just don’t know, such as:
    • What happens if you take CBD daily for sustained periods of time?
    • What is the effect of CBD on the developing brain (such as children who take CBD)?
    • What are the effects of CBD on the developing fetus or breastfed newborn?
    • How does CBD interact with herbs and botanicals?
    • Does CBD cause male reproductive toxicity in humans, as has been reported in studies of animals?

You may have noticed that cannabidiol (CBD) seems to be available almost everywhere, and marketed as a variety of products including drugs, food, dietary supplements, cosmetics, and animal health products. Other than one prescription drug product to treat two rare, severe forms of epilepsy, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any other CBD products, and there is very limited available information about CBD, including about its effects on the body.

The FDA recognizes the significant public interest in cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds, particularly CBD. However, there are many unanswered questions about the science, safety, and quality of products containing CBD. The agency is working on answering these questions through ongoing efforts including feedback from a recent FDA hearing and information and data gathering through a public docket.

Despite the 2018 Farm Bill removing hemp — defined as cannabis and cannabis derivatives with very low concentrations (no more than 0.3% on a dry weight basis) of THC — from the definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act, CBD products are still subject to the same laws and requirements as FDA-regulated products that contain any other substance.

The FDA is concerned that people may mistakenly believe that trying CBD “can’t hurt.” The agency wants to be clear that we have seen only limited data about CBD’s safety and these data point to real risks that need to be considered. As part of the drug review and approval process for the prescription drug containing CBD, it was determined that the risks are outweighed by the benefits of the approved drug for the particular population for which it was intended. Consumer use of any CBD products should always be discussed with a healthcare provider. Consumers should be aware of the potential risks associated with using CBD products. Some of these can occur without your awareness, such as:

  • Liver Injury: During its review of the marketing application for Epidiolex — a purified form of CBD that the FDA approved in 2018 for use in the treatment of two rare and severe seizure disorders — the FDA identified certain safety risks, including the potential for liver injury. This serious risk can be managed when an FDA-approved CBD drug product is taken under medical supervision, but it is less clear how it might be managed when CBD is used far more widely, without medical supervision, and not in accordance with FDA-approved labeling. Although this risk was increased when taken with other drugs that impact the liver, signs of livery injury were seen also in patients not on those drugs. The occurrence of this liver injury was identified through blood tests, as is often the case with early problems with the liver. Liver injury was also seen in other studies of CBD in published literature. We are concerned about potential liver injury associated with CBD use that could go undetected if not monitored by a healthcare provider.
  • Drug Interactions: Information from studies of the FDA-approved CBD drug Epidiolex show that there is a risk of CBD impacting other medicines you take – or that other medicines you take could impact the dose of CBD that can safely be used. Taking CBD with other medications may increase or decrease the effects of the other medications. This may lead to an increased chance of adverse effects from, or decreased effectiveness of, the other medications. Drug interactions were also seen in other studies of CBD in published literature. We are concerned about the potential safety of taking other medicines with CBD when not being monitored by a healthcare provider. In addition, there is limited research on the interactions between CBD products and herbs or botanicals in dietary supplements. Consumers should use caution when combining CBD products with herbs or dietary supplements.
  • Male Reproductive Toxicity: Studies in laboratory animals showed male reproductive toxicity, including in the male offspring of CBD-treated pregnant females. The changes seen include decrease in testicular size, inhibition of sperm growth and development, and decreased circulating testosterone, among others. Because these findings were only seen in animals, it is not yet clear what these findings mean for human patients and the impact it could have on men (or the male children of pregnant women) who take CBD. For instance, these findings raise the concern that CBD could negatively affect a man’s fertility. Further testing and evaluation are needed to better understand this potential risk.

In addition, CBD can be the cause of side effects that you might notice. These side effects should improve when CBD is stopped or when the amount ingested is reduced. This could include changes in alertness, most commonly experienced as somnolence (sleepiness), but this could also include insomnia; gastrointestinal distress, most commonly experienced as diarrhea and/or decreased appetite, but could also include abdominal pain or upset stomach; and changes in mood, most commonly experienced as irritability and agitation.

To read the rest, check out the FDA website. https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/what-you-need-know-and-what-were-working-find-out-about-products-containing-cannabis-or-cannabis