Be(a)ware of Delta 8

Updated: Mar 29

Hello friends! I'm sure you've noticed that there have been some exciting changes going on in the Virginia Medical Cards world recently. Aside from the new laws that allow you to grow 4 plants, possess an ounce recreationally, and get employment protection with a medical card, we're starting to see some satellite dispensaries opening up. As mentioned before, Rise has opened in Salem. And now Beyond Hello has announced the official address for a new branch opening soon in Sterling (21290 Windmill Parc Dr., Sterling, VA 20166). Sterling will be the 6th state recognized dispensary in Virginia. Even more exciting, flower is officially available in ALL of the legal dispensaries!

So why the warning? I've had several patients mention recently that they purchased products from a "dispensary" which was not on the list of Virginia medical dispensaries. Alarmed, I did some investigation and realized what these facilities who are calling themselves dispensaries are selling is Delta 8 products. Delta 8 is derived from the hemp plant. As such, it's technically still legal at a federal level. It is also effective and has psychoactive properties, but it's only about 2/3 as strong as the active ingredient in mj (that is on the list of schedule I drugs). That alone is not the problem.

The problems, as I see them, are as follows:

1) Hemp stores are calling themselves dispensaries and selling people products labeled as thc, but it's not clear to many customers what exactly they are buying. Remember it's your responsibility to read the labels. The labels do indeed say delta 8, but they sometimes use the Greek symbol for delta, which is a triangle. And a label that says "thc" with a triangle and an 8 in front of it is going to be read by the average person as "blah blah thc". My only point here is, be aware of what you are buying and whether or not the dispensary where you are shopping is a state-regulated medical dispensary. If they don't require a medical card and certificate to enter the building, they are not selling you products with thc-9 in them.

2) Though delta 8 products are still legal so far (I wouldn't be surprised if that changed once the government becomes more aware of it), they can indeed get you high (as in not safe to operate machinery) and can make you test positive at work.

3) Delta 8 products are not regulated like medical products. So you don't really know exactly what you're getting unless they can provide testing results from an independent lab.

Bottom line: I'm not saying don't buy delta 8 products. They are fantastic for some people and much cheaper! I'm just saying be aware of what you are buying and know that there are some potential risks in using anything not strictly regulated. For a list of all of the official Virginia Medical Dispensaries, check out VANORML's list here.

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