Delta-8 products pose serious health risks

By Kelsey Guthmiller, Trauma Program Coordinator for Riverwood Healthcare Center

The Minnesota Legislature recently approved the sale of delta-8 products in Minnesota, effective July 1, 2022.

Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as delta-8 THC, is a psychoactive substance found in the Cannabis sativa plant, of which marijuana and hemp are two varieties. Delta-8 THC is one of over 100 cannabinoids produced naturally by the cannabis plant but is not found in significant amounts in the cannabis plant. As a result, concentrated amounts of delta-8 THC are typically manufactured from hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD).

There are a few important things to know about delta-8, which poses serious health risks for children and adults.

  • Delta-8 is a derivative of a hemp plant, a different kind of cannabis plant than marijuana.
  • Delta-8 products expose users to a much higher level of THC than occur naturally in hemp cannabis raw extracts. Even the most experienced of THC/marijuana users can have an adverse reaction with delta-8.
  • Delta-8 comes in the form of gummies, vape pens, and oils.
  • These products are NOT approved or regulated by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
  • It’s important to keep delta-8 products out of the reach of children and pets.

“Delta-8 products can cause severe side effects such as paranoia, hallucinations, vomiting (very common), tremor, anxiety, dizziness, confusion, loss of consciousness and tachycardia,” said Dr. David Taylor, chief medical officer and emergency medicine physician at Riverwood. “Many people have had to seek emergency medical treatment for adverse reactions to delta-8.”

Poison control centers have been inundated with phone calls regarding delta-8 health-related issues and adverse reactions. Always call poison control, 1-800-222-1222, when you or a loved one swallows a potentially dangerous chemical or medication.