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Delta 8 Thc

What to know before you buy THC-infused product Delta 8



CAPE CORAL, Fla. — There’s a spot in Cape Coral where the food and drinks won’t just fill you up, they could get you high.

“Well first thing’s first, we don’t actually sell marijuana here,” said Jeremy Bhimji, who owns The Spot on Cape Coral Parkway East. 

They do offer THC infusions using delta 8.

Delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta 8 THC) is popping up all over. You can buy Delta 8 flower, pre-rolled joints, edibles, concentrates and more. Delta 8 is one of many cannabinoids, which are compounds found in the cannabis plant. It’s billed to have milder effects than Delta 9, which has more THC. 

Many see Delta 8 as a loophole for people who want to use cannabis but don’t have a medical marijuana card. For others, it’s a way to try marijuana’s benefits without such strong psychoactive effects. With a multitude of uses, Delta 8 has become popular since Former President Donald Trump signed the Federal Farm Bill in 2018.

“It’s a hemp-derived product,” Bhimji said.

You can find it in Southwest Florida gas stations, smoke shops, wellness stores and now even the new restaurant, which Bhimji opened about six months ago. They have extreme eats like a burger with grilled cheese sandwiches as the bun – and the extra buzz is optional. 

“We partnered with a food scientist in Miami who created a food-safe blend of olive oil, salt and sugar that we use to top the food,” Bhimji said.

You can add one of those three concoctions to take your food to the next level. 

“Nothing comes infused, we finish it at the end with either the salt, sugar or olive oil, depending on the dish. So that was 25 milligrams of THC-infused salt,” Bhimji said as he sprinkled it onto an order of buffalo wings. 

Bhimji said when you buy a beer or cocktail, you have to show an ID to buy their THC products. They’ve had inspectors from the state come out and they have to follow certain guidelines. 

“Basically when we talked to people at the state of Florida, they said nothing can be advertised in print for the infusions, it had to be like word of mouth marketing only, so it’s just part of following the rules. We don’t want to get shut down 6 months in,” Bhimji said. 

He and many advocates see Delta 8 and other cannabis products as a more natural way to take the edge off. 

“I mean there’s a bar on every single corner, what’s the difference?” Bhimji said.

But there’s growing concern from some. This May, the FDA issued warning letters to five companies for misbranding Delta 8 and failing to provide adequate directions for use. 

According to the National Poison Data System, in 2021 it got 2,362 reports of bad reactions to Delta 8. About 40% were unintentional exposure cases, many of which were among kids. About 70% of all those reports required medical attention. 

Aside from these products getting into the wrong hands, some say the problem is that not all Delta 8 is created equal.

“The fact that people are getting sick from this is because it’s not being manufactured correctly,” said Patrick O’Brien, the founder of Sativa University in Apopka, Florida. 

At their campus near Orlando, Sativa U teaches people about growing Cannabis and getting into the industry.

O’Brien said he uses Delta 8 himself as a sleep aid, but even so, he sees some problems with how it’s blowing up.

Because it’s found naturally at lower levels, he explained it’s typically manufactured in a lab using other hemp-derived compounds like CBD.

“I’d say close to 90% of the products in the market currently are synthetically done,” O’Brien said.

He thinks some companies are only focused on turning a profit and that turns into cutting corners. 

“A lot of the stomach aches, a lot of those side effects are through the solvents that aren’t properly cleaned. If done incorrectly, and it’s not cleansed properly through post, those individuals, once they light it up, be it flower, or they consume it through a vape pen, they’re essentially consuming butane, hexane, alcohol, whatever it may be,” O’Brien said.

Another potential problem is underestimating the impacts of Delta 8. O’Brien said education is key, and Cole Peacock, the owner of  Caloosahatchee Cannabis Company agrees. 

“You know, don’t go out drinking for the night and decide your buddy has delta 8 and you’re gonna pop one and chew it,  it’s going to impact you,” Peacock said. “It’s about looking at the products, understanding them and knowing some of them are going to be more powerful than others. Look for your milligram counts to see what you’re taking and how strong it is.”

Through Caloosahatchee Cannabis Company, Peacock and his team run Seed and Bean Market along with local CBD company, Pure Native, which now offers delta 8 gummies too.

“There’s a demand in the marketplace for sure,” Peacock said.

As that demand grows, Peacock, O’Brien and Bhimji all said you should look for one thing and use it to know more about the Delta 8 you’re buying.

“You want to make sure that you’re dealing with a company that has a QR code that has your testing results. That’s your percentages, that’s all the ingredients, that tells you that it passed the state regulatory items,” Peacock said. 

Consumers should be aware that delta-8 THC products have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA for safe use. However, in the state of Florida any hemp products are supposed to comply with labeling rules and have a content limit of 0.3% THC or less. Products that don’t comply are subject to enforcement and possible destruction by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

The QR code can help you verify what you’re buying does meet those regulations.

“That’s absolutely vital. I would not buy a single thing that didn’t have this on there,” Bhimji said.

Delta 8 THC is illegal in 14 states: Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Montana, New York, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Utah, and Washington.

Last year, Florida lawmakers proposed House Bill 679 that would increase regulations on delta 8 but it died in the Professions & Public Health Subcommittee this March.

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