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ASTM Publishes White Paper on Delta-8 THC

By Leo Bear-McGuinness

Published: Dec 03, 2021   
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The leading US testing standards organization ASTM International has released a white paper on delta-8 THC and the testing standards it mandates.

Titled “Delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabinol and the Need to Develop Standards to Protect Safety of Consumers”, this free resource outlines that chemical nature of delta-8 THC, how it’s generally produced, and the issues it presents to analytical chemists.

Detailing delta-8

Delta-8 THC has a slightly different molecular structure to its more famous relative, delta-9 THC (commonly known as THC), which helped it initially evade many of the rules and restrictions that govern the sale THC in the US. Yet delta-8 can still induce highs comparable to its more prohibited cousin.

Naturally, then, the US has experienced a boom of delta-8 THC popularity over the past year or so, much to the concern of industry analysts. Given the often clandestine way the compound is produced, many cannabis chemists and industry regulators have argued that delta-8 products pose a health risk to consumers, especially minors.

“Products containing delta-8-THC are widely available to consumers despite the known and unknown risks to consumer health and safety,” David Vaillencourt, CEO of GMP collective and an ASTM International member, said in a statement.

“The topic is much deeper than simply the presence of delta-8-THC. Rather it is about defining how to label products containing potentially intoxicating cannabinoids and identifying what safeguards need to be in place to minimize the risk of impurities that can further impact consumer health.”

Speaking to Analytical Cannabis earlier this year, Christopher Hudalla, chief scientific officer at the cannabis testing company ProVerde Labs, also commented on the health and safety risk of delta-8 products.  

“I live in a very small town, and I found delta-8 products in multiple stores that they say you have to be 21 to purchase. But I’ve also seen children buying them,” he recently told Analytical Cannabis.

“There’s no regulatory control. And so we know children are consuming these products without any indication about how safe they are. That’s hugely irresponsible in my opinion.”

To produce the new white paper, Vaillencourt and the ASTM team worked in tandem with the United States Pharmacopeia (USP), which also debuted a technical white paper on delta-8-THC.

Representatives from ASTM and the USP will provide a presentation on the two technical papers as part of ASTM’s upcoming 2ndGlobal Workshop on Advancing the Field of Cannabis through Standardization, to be held virtually on December 14, 2021. 


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