Federal Law Now Allows the Sale and Use of THC-Infused Industrial Grade Hemp — a Product Reviewby Kelly R. Smith; © 2022
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No matter where you turn today it is CBD this and CBD that. Rub it! Wear it! Eat it! Be it! So what, pray tell, is this hemp, this miraculous, salubrious thing? Are the claims of its great efficacy in treating ills of the body and mind real or simply the hand wave of well-compensated mountebanks of all stripes?
The current popularity of the CBD industry is linked to the rise of medicinal cannabis, or medicinal marijuana, as a therapeutic approach to cure what ails us. This approach to medical care has received some rather less-than esemplastic official opinions.
Deaths attributed to marijuana intoxication? As opposed to alcohol intoxication? I must call foul; my entire life must be anecdotal because I have never seen or heard of this deadly result. Can an individual OD on cannabis? That would be somewhat ironic given the number of U.S. states that have greenlighted its medical use. Indeed, it was time for the federal government to step up with some clarification. At some point, the federal Supreme Court will likely be called into play.
The 2018 Farm Bill
December, 2018 — the 2018 Farm Bill2 is signed into law. Its result was to remove hemp, which is defined as cannabis (Cannabis sativa L.), and derivatives of cannabis with comparatively low concentrations of the psychoactive compound delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (no more than 0.3 percent THC on a dry weight basis), from the definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). This separated the wheat from the chaff, so to speak.
It was the “0.3 percent THC” that opened the door for commercial companies to begin production of recreational hemp products in the form of edibles (gummies, candies, caramels), vapes, tinctures, and even THC and HHC-infused flower buds.
Helpful Cannabis, Hemp, and CBD Definitions
- CBD. This is the product that gets the most press. It is mostly marketed for pain relief for people and pets. Harvard Medical School says, “CBD, or cannabidiol, is the second most prevalent active ingredient in cannabis (marijuana). While CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana, it is derived directly from the hemp plant, a cousin of marijuana, or manufactured in a laboratory. One of hundreds of components in marijuana, CBD does not cause a ‘high’ by itself.4“
- THC. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is one of more than 100 cannabinoids encountered in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids are this plant’s active compounds. As an analogy, ponder about how caffeine is one of the desired, active compounds in the coffee bean.
- Full Spectrum CBD. This formulation retains all of the compounds found in fresh, unprocessed hemp plants. It is considered by most enthusiasts to be the most effective because it offers the compounds and effects of the natural hemp flower. Its use results in what is known as the Entourage Effect (the idea is that all these compounds function with maximum efficacy when present together). Be advised that for those folks who are sensitive to THC, or who are looking at a prospective drug test in the near future for employment or another reason, the presence of even minimum amounts of THC can be problematic.
- Broad Spectrum CBD. This is the same product as full spectrum CBD, minus any trace amounts of THC remaining. You will still get a number of the beneficial effects associated with whole-plant extracts, but without any risk of testing positive for THC. This might also be a good option for pets, children, or anyone else who needs to avoid THC.
- Delta 9. Delta 9 THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid associated with the cannabis plant. However, it isn’t found in raw cannabis. To produce it, a process called decarboxylation (heating the cannabis flower) is utilized. The existing THCa experiences a chemical reaction and morphs into Delta 9 THC.
- THC-O. This is a newer derivative. It is considered stronger than Delta 9.
- Delta 8. According to leafly.com, “Delta-8 is a cannabis compound that has become popular because of its similarity to delta-9 THC, the main compound in cannabis that gets you high, causing euphoria, happiness, sedation, symptom relief, and much more. Delta-8 will get you high, albeit not as high as common delta-9 THC.”3 Some conditions delta-8 can help with include pain relief, insomnia, anxiety, and nausea. Is it legal? The federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has proposed a new rule to indirectly classify delta-8 THC as a Schedule I controlled substance. This would make it illegal on a federal level. But, to date, that rule is not yet final.
- HHC. American chemist Roger Adams added hydrogen molecules to Delta-9 THC first in 1944. This process, which is called hydrogenation, converts THC to hexahydrocannabinol (HHC). If the term hydrogenation sounds familiar, it is because it is used to transform vegetable oil into margarine. Viola! Since it’s not technically a THC compound, it may not be flagged in drug tests, but the jury is still out so don’t take that as gospel.
Will These Hemp Products Get You High?
Everybody’s favorite question, right? Asking for a friend. Well, other than CBD and Broad Spectrum CBD, the formulations listed above are mood/perception/cognition altering. Many producers and marketers do not use the actual term high for obvious reasons, but instead might tout euphoria or relaxing. A rose by any other name… but I digress. Semantics aside, it seems that the federal law is gradually setting the stage for a type of marijuana legalization, traditionally a purview of state government.
Typical Hemp Products
For the purpose of this article, your humble blogger took it upon himself to try various products. This is what I found, but keep in mind that since all effects are closely tied to individual body chemistry, results may vary.
Vida Optima Hemp Products
I found these Delta 8 THC Gummies to be tasty and effective. No chemically-tinged taste. The 10mg serving was just right.
Delta 8 THC Hard Candies are slow-dissolving and delicious. At 50mg, they are more euphoric than the gummies. These are also available in 10mg and 25mg.
Delta 8 THC Oil is a liquid that comes with an eyedropper so you can administer it directly by mouth or add it to your favorite beverage.
Gorilla Glue Delta 8 THC Hybrid Flower is a premium product, a hand-trimmed CBD Flower, directly sprayed with Delta 8-THC distillate for a completely new experience for cannabis users. This item is especially suited to traditionalists who enjoy trimming up a big bud and indulging in the earthy smell.
Hemp Flower Strains are one of their main products. At this time, 14 strains are offered, each providing a unique experience. These buds are similar to the Gorilla Glue version detailed above.
HCC Caramels are large, chewy, and offer a pleasant euphoric experience at 20mg per treat.
Delta 8 THC Nano Caramels (and other products with Nano in the name) have, “undergone our proprietary nanotechnology process in order to break down the compounds to the nanometer level in order to arrive at the final product which is both water soluble (dissolvable in water) while also being more bioavailable in the body.5″
The Dharma Delta 8 Nano Water Soluble THC Tincture is similar in effect to the Vida Optima THC Oil covered above. The first obvious difference is that it is milk-colored as opposed to a light copper color. The viscosity is comparable. Another difference is that even when I sampled a dose in a 10-oz. tumbler of water, fruit juice, or iced tea (unsweetened, thank you very much), it left a slight burning sensation in the back of my throat which manifested for about 45 seconds. Not overly unpleasant.
The Dharma Delta 8 Pre-Rolled Joints offer the same traditional smoking tradition as the Flower Strains without the bother of cleaning the buds and rolling one up. They come nicely packaged in a sealed plastic tube to prevent damage by wayward delivery folks. (No, far be it for your humble blogger to hold a grudge, but I still remember my crushed and soaking wet coffee bean delivery, UPS dude or dudette.)
The goal of this product review of various full-spectrum CBD, Delta 8 THC, and HCC hemp products was twofold. Firstly, I wanted to showcase and set out impressions and findings like any of my product reviews. Secondly, I wanted to test the waters about this almost stealth societal shift regarding the ethics and legality of using hemp attitude-adjusting products.
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- From the article, “Medicinal Cannabis: History, Pharmacology, And Implications for the Acute Care Setting,” in The National Library of Medicine, by Mary Barna Bridge, PharmD, BCPS, BCGP, et al. (PubMed Central, 2017), Introduction
- From Section 297A <> DEFINITIONS, H.R.2 – Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 115th Congress (2017-2018), https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/2/text
- From the article, “What is delta-8?,” in Leafly, by Leafly Staff
- From the article, Cannabidiol (CBD)-what we know and what we don’t, in Harvard Health School, by Peter Grinspoon, MD
- From the webpage Delta 8 THC, DHARMAD8, https://dharmad8.com/shop/delta-8-thc
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