Delta 8 declared legal in KY after much uncertainty

Charity Blanton Aug 8, 2022

According to Katie Moyer, president the Kentucky Hemp Association, Delta 8 THC has been declared a legal hemp-derivative after a year of deliberation. 

Moyer said in a Sunday release that this was a “huge win for farmers and retailers of hemp derivatives in the Commonwealth.” According to Moyer, there isn’t any reason for Kentucky to be moving backwards by banning hemp products that have been sold for years in Kentucky already. 

Delta-8 is a cannabinoid that occurs naturally in small amounts in hemp plants, and it is said to have some psychoactive properties similar to THC. 

Delta-8 gummies, pills, powders, and even vape pens could be easily obtained from smoke shops and gas stations in Kentucky after CBD became legal, but the Kentucky Department of Agriculture wasn’t so sure about the legality of the cannabinoid. 

According to a release from Moyer, the KDA sent a letter to the KHA, and local law enforcement, claiming that Delta-8 was an illegal synthetic drug. The KHA said some retail stores were raided as a result of the letter, and the industry group had to go to court to claim their case that Delta-8 was legal. 

They won their case, with Boone Circuit Judge Rick Brueggemann declaring Delta 8 to be a legal derivative of hemp, and issuing an injunction against law enforcement preventing them from charging retailers and hemp producers for selling Delta 8. Click {see below} to read the full case, Kentucky Hemp Association vs Ryan Quarles.

According to the FDA, using Delta-8 products may be risky for several reasons. Firstly, it is naturally found in such insignificant amounts in cannabis plants that it is often chemically converted from CBD. They say potentially dangerous chemicals and contaminants could be left behind in the final product.

Since the product is not currently regulated by the FDA, they question the sanitation of facilities where it’s manufactured, as well as: variability in product, inaccurate labelling, misleading claims of health benefits, and variable concentrations in dosing.

The FDA says some adverse reactions to Delta-8 have been recorded, including children becoming sick after accidentally ingesting the product. According to the FDA, one child has died. Other common side-effects cited by the FDA are hallucinations, vomiting, tremor, anxiety, dizziness, confusion, and loss of consciousness. 

In a study conducted by the Journal of Cannabis Research, a sample of Delta-8 consumers claimed they experienced euphoria, relaxation, and pain relief when taking Delta-8 products. According to the journal, a number of users self-reported experiencing therapeutic and medicinal effects from Delta 8 that increased quality of life. There were also users who reported feelings of paranoia, anxiety, and difficulty concentrating.

A small 1995 study cited in the journal showed that a group of 8 pediatric cancer patients going through chemotherapy treatment were given Delta-8 two hours before each session. According to the journal, non of them threw-up after their chemotherapy for a full 8 months. 

Much like dietary supplements, Delta-8 will likely need to undergo more thorough, scientific studies before broad claims can be made as to it’s effectiveness and safety, due to its lack of FDA regulation. However, for now, Delta-8 remains legal in Kentucky and people who feel the product is beneficial to them will still be able to access it. The Kentucky Hemp association will focus on improving education about hemp, promoting research of hemp grains and cannabinoids, and increasing the visibility of hemp markets in the future, Moyer reported. 

© Copyright 2022 WPSD Local 6, 100 Television Lane Paducah, KY