We're deeply embarrassed by our industry.
Yes, the CBD industry!
The embrace of Delta 8 speaks to everything that's wrong with how Americans and businesses view health.
We already go into the research on why Delta8 should not be legally available on the market based on science but our story is more personal.
Let's also look at why the CBD industry is chasing Delta8 short-term at the expense of everything positive that can be gained from high-quality CBD isolate.
We'll also dovetail in the all-important concept of tolerance…a simple word for tachyphylaxis or how pushing pathways too hard up or down always ends up poorly.
Just look at benzos or SSRIs if you need an example. Or opioids??
Back to Delta8. A short story in 4 chapters:
- Our nightmare interaction with Delta8
- Why the CBD business is chasing Delta8
- What's the real problem with Delta8
- Where's the FDA on this one?
Our nightmare interaction with Delta8
Again, we have a full review comparing CBD isolate and Delta8 already.
This is much more personal.
About 1 month, I came across a packet of gummies that had been sent to us from a trusted CBD supplier as a sample
It had been in the drawer on my desk for a few months so I didn't really recognize it.
We have CBD isolate gummies which are great in a pinch when under stress (see CBD and stress).
The packet looked different (black) but when I scanned the label, I saw CBD so I assumed it was just another CBD isolate product which is primarily what they supply us with.
It said 10mg CBD and there were four samples so I took all four. 40mg of CBD isolate after all is no big deal. Neurogenesis is clocked at 300mg daily with no psychoactive effect.
Again, that's the whole point of CBD isolate (not full spectrum).
This was around 11 am in the morning. My spouse and I go swimming every day at around noon.
I'm driving over and when we get to the parking lot of the gym, I realized that I had no recollection of driving over.
Like I had slept-walk my way over! My vision tracking became slow and my first thought was that I was having a migraine which usually starts with acute tunnel vision.
This just felt different though. I actually thought I was having a stroke! This wasn't a migraine (none of the usual numbness in my left hand which presages the migraine.
My spouse drove us both back home thinking it was a migraine but I was really worried. Felt like I was melting.
Completely forgot about the gummies till later when my spouse asked me if there was anything I ate that might have caused the "migraine".
I later remembered the gummies and she went to get the package out of the trash.
Below the "10mg CBD" was a smaller font with "10mg Delta8". Per gummy!
So I had just ingested 40mg of Delta8 as an edible.
I was partially relieved that it wasn't a stroke and not even a migraine. That relief didn't last long.
The next 4-6 hours were a living hell.
I tried to lie down but I kept feeling like I was falling and then I would SNAP up in a burst of anxiety.
Time was distorted so these cycles of anxiety and sinking felt like they were every 15 minutes but when I looked at the clock, maybe 1-2 minutes had passed.
I tried to take a bath and it was the same. Just horrible..fading out and then gasping into anxiety periodically.
Look…we tried all the tricks to help with "greening" out.
- CBD isolate
- Pregnenolone - the brain's natural "anti-THC"
- Magnesium Glycinate
- Fish oil
Nothing was working. I was going to have to get through the next 6-8 hours of hell.
And I do mean hell.
I was angry now. I'm a 190-pound person in good health with a great functioning liver (where Delta8 is processed).
When I was driving, that could have been very dangerous. No recollection at all of the trip over. Autopilot.
What if kids got ahold of these gummies (happens every day…see hospital entries).
Here's the issue...somehow, Delta8 is legal!!
Yes, legal and it's clearly not some benign version of THC (Delta9 technically).
We won't work with a supplier that also sells Delta8 out of principle but that's becoming a small list of ethical companies for us to choose from.
In fact, a company's effort to sell Delta8 is a huge red flag for us.
Why the CBD business is chasing Delta8
There was an explosion of CBD activity around 2018. Everyone and their mothers jumped into the business and many were simply after a quick buck.
We found CBD as a result of a brutal perimenopause crisis (that story here) and wanted to source CBD isolate from the cleanest source at the lowest cost per mg of CBD.
This is based on what we found after about 1 thousand hours of NIH research. It's all right there!! (and right here).
Then the pandemic hit and everyone was flush with extra cash. CBD sales when through the roof as did legal cannabis and alcohol.
People were stressed. People were bored. People were looking for relief.
Around the last half of 2022, the market started to crash. All the quick-buck brands and companies that flooded the market started to die off.
One supplier told us (as they were closing shop) that 90% of their customers had left the market during 2022.
The remaining brands panicked. They started offering Delta8 which is a known psychoactive cousin with similarities to THC but somehow, escaped the FDA's net on legality.
CBD, when sourced correctly (THC under .3%) is legal…treated like a food supplement. This makes sense when you understand how it works.
THC was the boogeyman (we get it…see THC versus CBD here). Somehow, Delta8 snuck through the CBD backdoor and was legal on the market.
It was only when the CBD market imploded that the brands started pushing Delta8 (sometimes branded as THC since they both have that general monicker). Delta8 versus Delta9.
They were going out of business and they sold out! Sure, we'll sell a psychoactive product online with a simple "Are you 21" click button.
Shame on them. After what I went through, they're cutting their nose to spite their face and the FDA can't come quick enough (more on that below).
Alright…maybe it was just us? What's the research behind any of this?
What's the real problem with Delta8
In the cannabinoid world, you have three basic actions:
- Agonists of cannabinoid receptor activity (Delta 8 and THC)
- Antagonists of cannabinoid receptor activity
- Allosteric modulators of cannabinoid receptor activity (CBD isolate)
Agonists push activity up. Antagonists push activity down.
Both cause "overshoot" with higher levels (like what I felt in the bath).
Short term, this can lead to all sorts of "side effects". There are no side effects. There are only "Effects".
Longer term, you build tolerance which means the body will push that same pathway the other way!
So…if THC relaxes you initially, with time, it will make you prone to anxiety and THC freak-outs!
Check out the review of why THC causes freak-outs.
That is the reason we're so impressed with CBD isolate! It works like a feedback mechanism for key pathways when exhausted.
Learn more about how CBD works here.
Clearly, after our experience, Delta8 is an antagonist and pushes activity too high. Don't take our word for it.
Overall, the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of Δ8 -THC and Δ9 -THC are very similar. Δ8 -THC is a partial agonist of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor and has cannabimimetic activity in both animals and humans.
So…why is this legal? What if I was driving a bus and I took these "legal" gummies or what if children found the "Gummies". Don't get us started on the edible, colorful form factor for these Delta8 products.
Where's the FDA on Delta8?
Delta8 really shouldn't be legal the way it is now.
This is a clear example of where FDA regulation should crack down and not the legitimate CBD isolate market (Full spectrum CBD is somewhere in the middle).
In fairness, the FDA has made Delta8 a target for possible regulation but to date, there's no real movement and we're seeing some pretty big CBD brands slog Delta8 (referenced as THC which technically is true) gummies all over their website.
Just click age 21 or older and buy away!
Good luck with that one.
Longer term (generally pushed for sleep or pain), those pathways will just get worse and worse with time.
Sorry…that's the truth for tolerance whether Ambien or Valium or oxycodone or Tylenol.
Hopefully, our experience is a warning. Even in slow-mo (smaller dose), it's the wrong direction if you truly want to feel better long term.