In light of the recent THC-O ban in the US, it is pretty important to know exactly why it was banned, considering the fact that cannabis is legal in 37 American states.
In a recent letter sent by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to Ron Kight, an attorney that provides counsel to marijuana and hemp companies, it was revealed that the agency doesn’t consider THC-O and its derived products to be a legal cannabinoid. This is because it doesn’t occur naturally in the hemp plant. In a recent blog, Kight explained the reasoning behind the DEA’s decision to impose the THC-O ban in the US.
The Farm Bill
According to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp and any of its by-products are allowed to be consumed as long as they have less than 0.3 percent delta-9 THC in them. Now, THC-O actually falls within those constraints, but it fails the all-important test of having to be a naturally occurring substance. Hence it falls short of the specified requirements for any cannabinoid to be legal.
For example, the delta-8 version is legal because it is derived from the plant itself, however, THC-O is considered synthetic hemp, which basically means that it isn’t hemp at all.
THC-O is made by processing delta-9 or delta-8 THC, which makes it quite dangerous for smoking, as recent studies have shown. It is the acetate form of THC and can’t be produced directly from the plant. A partner at Vicente Sederberg, which is a cannabis law firm, stated that while the DEA’s statement about the THC-O ban in the US didn’t clearly state whether it applied to all novel hemp-derived products, it did say that delta 8 and delta 9 THC-O were considered to be controlled substances.
The concerns over delta 8
The FDA also expressed concern over the increasing sales of delta-8 hemp products, which they think will have multiple side effects like sclerosis, nausea, anxiety, and even cancer.
Earlier this year, there was a lot of uproar over delta-8 THC, which claimed to be milder than regular marijuana but had a lot of experts questioning its validity and safety. The term started appearing quite frequently in Google searches between the years 2020 and 2021, with some saying that it could potentially be the more controlled and calming version of cannabis that has always been needed.
However, that isn’t quite the case. The FDA and The Centres For Disease Control And Prevention have recently issued a warning stating that delta 8 THC is potentially very dangerous and has caused many accidental poisonings.
The users, on the contrary, have been raving about it, with many calling it “high” way nicer than regular weed, with higher amounts of euphoria and more effective pain relief.
The problem, however, isn’t the product itself, but rather the quality of the product, which has raised many questions. Even though it is legally hemp (as stated by the Ninth Court of Appeals), it is still THC chemically.
The product is supplied through vape cartridges in many stores, but because none of the products can be regulated, a lot of it can be mislabeled at times, causing serious errors.
The THC-O ban
Now, the imposition of the THC-O ban in the US is necessary because it is an even more processed version of either, the synthetic and untrustworthy delta-8 THC or the unbelievably dangerous delta-9 THC. So even though cannabis companies and wholesalers have been actively trying to promote and sell the new THC-O product, organizations like the FDA and the CDC have learned from the Delta 8 situation and reacted quickly by issuing warnings over it. This in turn has been promptly bolstered by the DEA’s banning of the product throughout the United States of America.
Ever since the legalization of marijuana through the Farm Bill, the number of hemp products hitting the market has increased significantly. Even though the DEA has banned the usage of said drug, it is said to be available in all the forms that regular weed is available in such as vapes, oils, edibles, and flowers.
The THC-O drug was found to be 2-3 times stronger than the delta-9 THC, which was already known to be way too dangerous for consumption. Up until the ban, it was marketed as a prodrug, which is a drug that needs complete digestion in order to work, giving the user a delayed high.
This made the product look very appealing, along with the very obvious increase in its concentration. Although the product can be consumed in the form of edibles, it is recommended not to be used at all, and some cannabis companies have told their customers to stay away from it and use delta 8 cannabinoids, which are considered legal as of now.
The DEA’s ban is likely to come into action, and they are expected to take enforcement actions against the shops that are selling the drugs even after the THC-O ban in the US is issued. Even though there have been arguments about delta 8 THC-O being banned, the ban is not going to be going away anytime soon.