States With Illegal Cannabis Have Higher Rates of Using Delta-8 THC

States With Illegal Cannabis Have Higher Rates of Using Delta-8 THC

A new study discovered that states that do not allow cannabis use saw more unregulated compounds made from hemp. These compounds included cannabinoids that make people feel high, such as delta-8 THC.

The 2018 Farm Bill made hemp and goods made from hemp legal in the U.S. For the past five years, the market for cannabinoids made from hemp has grown very quickly. As an alternative that can still get people high, hemp-derived THC products have become very common. These include delta-8 THC, which is less potent but still psychoactive.

Even in states with legal adult-use cannabis programs, hemp-derived THC goods are easy to find. However, the new industry is especially helpful for people who can’t legally buy cannabis in states that haven’t passed reform measures yet.

As things change, a new study was done to look into the trends more closely involving these lesser-known cannabinoids. In the end, the study published by the American Medical Association (AMA) proved that people did turn to the hemp-derived cannabinoid market when cannabis was illegal.

The study shows that the fact that many states do not have legal cannabis laws may be helping the still-unregulated market for cannabinoids derived from hemp, such as delta-8 THC, which makes people high.

Hemp-Derived Cannabinoid Usage

The study, which was funded by the federal government and released in the journal JAMA Network Open, is said to be the first set of scientific data to look at trends on new cannabinoids like delta-8 THC, CBG, and CBN, as well as new trends on CBD use.

The University of Michigan, the University at Buffalo, and the Legacy Research Institute all looked at survey data from 1,169 people from June 22 to June 26, 2023, to look into these trends. They asked people if they had used weed, CBD, delta-8 THC, CBG, or CBN in the past year and if they knew about any new cannabinoids that came out in that time.

26.3% of the people who took part said they had used cannabis in the past year, and 71.7% had heard of CBD. This is compared to 41.2% for delta-8 THC, 18.4% for CBG, and 16.8% for CBN. Four years ago, CBD use went up by 50%, and now 21.1% of people say they have used CBD in the past year. The improvement probably means that CBD will be easier for more people to get after the 2018 Farm Bill was signed.

11.9% said they used delta-8 THC, 5.2% said they used CBG, and 4.4% said they used CBN in the past year. In a larger sense, 25.2% of all participants said they had used any new cannabinoid in the past year.

Researchers also discovered that living in states with medical or recreational cannabis laws was linked to less delta-8 THC use. This is likely because people could legally buy THC products made from cannabis in those places.

Cannabis Prohibition Push to Delta-8 THC

They say this is the first indication of how common CBN, delta-8 THC, and CBG use was in the U.S. over the past year. The study also says that the percentage of people who used weed in the past year was “somewhat higher” than in other studies. However, this trend was still seen in younger age groups. Using weed in the past year was also linked to using new cannabinoid products.

“Higher delta-8 THC use in states without medical or adult-use cannabis laws suggests that states that don’t have cannabis laws may unintentionally encourage delta-8 THC use,” the researchers said. People who lived in states without recreational cannabis rules were more than twice as likely to have used delta-8 THC among people who had used cannabis in the past year.

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