In this episode we tackle the hot topic of Hemp derived Delta 8 THC, and Isomer of CBD. We will discuss the legal facts surrounding Hemp derived cannabinoids, the August 2020 DEA Memo, and answer the questions on everyone’s mind: Is Delta 8 THC Legal?
Announcer: Information provided on this podcast does not, and is not intended to constitute legal advice. All information, content and materials available on this podcast are for entertainment purposes only. The views and opinions expressed are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Cultiva Law. Now, without further ado, here are your exquisite esquires, Mio Asami and Fabiola Jimenez.
Fabiola Jimenez: [crosstalk 00:00:25] How’s it going, y’all? You have Fabi and Mio back with another awesome episode to fill your brainwaves with information.
Mio Asami: Information. So, it’s been two weeks, right?
Fabiola Jimenez: It’s been a long [crosstalk 00:00:41] time. I don’t know. There was an attempted coup sometime this week. I don’t even know what the fuck’s happening. I don’t know. This is where we’re at but we’re going to talk about drugs, which is the more important topic to tackle today. [crosstalk 00:00:59]. More insurrections…
Fabiola Jimenez: It’s going to be awhile, going to be awhile, fam.
Mio Asami: So, tag along.
Fabiola Jimenez: Tag along. We’re going to be talking about Delta-8 today, which I know is a-
Mio Asami: D8.
Fabiola Jimenez: Oh, my god.
Mio Asami: Sorry.
Fabiola Jimenez: That was…
Mio Asami: That was aggressive, I get aggressive sometimes you guys.
Fabiola Jimenez: I am aroused. Is that weird? That’s weird. Right? Right. [crosstalk 00:01:25]
Fabiola Jimenez: Delta-8 has been a real hot topic, we actually had to go back to our fucking high school chemistry books to start really understanding…
Mio Asami: What the fuck is this?
Fabiola Jimenez: What is Delta-8 and what is Delta-9? What is Delta? Delta, Delta
Mio Asami: Alpha, Gamma…
Fabiola Jimenez: Alpha, Gamma-
Mio Asami: Sorority pie, apple pie.
Fabiola Jimenez: Oh, my god. Oh, my god.
Mio Asami: Oh, my god. Today, we are on some… Okay.
Fabiola Jimenez: Pie cheesecake [crosstalk 00:01:52] We are on sugar high right now. So, we had to go back to our chemistry books, figure out what is Delta-8? What is Delta-9? What is the big deal with Delta-8 right now? Why is the government all up on our shit about it?
Mio Asami: Or are they all up in our shit about it? What is happening? What’s going on?
Fabiola Jimenez: We will let you know all this of this in 30 seconds. [crosstalk 00:2:10] All right.
Mio Asami: But first, before we get into that, our weekly word today. Psychoactive, definitionally, if I sound like I’m reading it, it’s because I am. Psychoactive is a chemical substance that changes the nervous system function and results in alteration and perception, mood, and consciousness, cognition, or behavior. It’s coined in the 1960s when everyone was getting high on then shrooms, on then weed [crosstalk 00:02:40].
Fabiola Jimenez: Which makes a lot of sense and you’ll know why shortly. So, first things first, Mio did a lot of the heavy lifting on this and to really figure out again, what is D8? What are the psychoactive effects? What are the psychological effects and benefits? So take it away Mio, what the fuck is D8?
Mio Asami: Sure, sure. Delta-8. To use our weekly word, it’s a psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis plants and what it’s really, what people have been really defining it as, it’s an isomer of CBD. For those of us who haven’t studied chemistry since grade school or ever really, if anybody even studied chemistry.
Fabiola Jimenez: It’s the only thing I remember from chemistry is making an [inaudible 00:03:22] That’s it. That was it.
Mio Asami: Hell, yeah. So an isomer, we all know what atoms are, right? We should all know what atoms are. Atoms, they form together, they create molecules, right? So an isomer is a chemical molecule that has the same chemical formula as something else, but it’s structured differently. So, for example, Delta-9 and Delta-8, have the same number of carbons, hydrogens and oxygens, but they’re structured differently, which makes them isomers. CBD, same thing, same number of carbons, same number of hydrogens, same number of oxygens structured differently. So they act, they interact differently within the environment, within nature, within your body, all that good stuff, because they’re structurally different. So, Delta-8.
Fabiola Jimenez: The way that I understood it, because I don’t know any of those words, [inaudible 00:04:22] Talk to me about money and drugs and we’ll talk all day baby, but I don’t know what the fuck an atom is. But anyway, the way that I saw and the way that I kind of pictured it was, so you have your cannabis plant and then you have like Delta-8, Delta-9, CBD, THC, CPG, whatever it is. And they’re all part of the cannabis plant, but they’re all, I want so say, say the easiest way is they’re all concentrates that come together to form the cannabis plant. I think that’s probably like the dumbest way to describe this, but it’s also the easiest way that I found to digest it.
Fabiola Jimenez: If you’re just talking about, [crosstalk 00:05:03] There’s just stuff within the plant that it gets isolated. As you have plants that, have plants that pull, they’re THC heavy, they all have CBD in them. It’s just, what is the plant heavier in as far as what the makeup is of the plant. And so, Again, that’s the easiest way that I found to digest all that information cause I can’t, it’s really science heavy which you-
Mio Asami: Especially because within the regular marketplace, we’ve heard of Delta-9, we’ve heard of CBD, we’ve heard of THC, obviously. And Delta-9 typically is the THC that everyone refers to, despite the fact that there’s like we’re talking about right now, delta-8 is also a THC. But anyway.
Fabiola Jimenez: So what’s good? What’s the big deal? What are some benefits from?
Mio Asami: So according to the National Cancer Institute, I want to say the United States National Cancer Institute, I’m not sure if any other country has them [crosstalk 00:05:58].
Fabiola Jimenez: Is that too soon? That’s too soon [crosstalk 00:06:04].
Mio Asami: I don’t know if the other countries have a National Cancer Institute, but anyway, the United States one together with the National Library of Medicine. There’s various publications on there that really talk about and have tested delta-8 and what its effects are. They all come to the conclusion that there is five main properties that are benefits of Delta-8. That being, Delta-8 can act as an anti-nausea, it could be an anti-anxiety, it has appetite, stimulating effects. It can reduce pain and also protects your neurons. So neuroprotection is one property of it as well. I want to say, because we’re lawyers here and we have to say shit like this, the FDA has not approved of those claims.
Mio Asami: So I just told you what studies have found and what kind of a general consensus tends to be right now, but the FDA still has not really rendered any opinion on Delta-8 and its efficacy or any of its effects.
Fabiola Jimenez: I think that goes for everything, right. We’re just in the beginning stages of it. Again, it’s one of those popular, hot words that are going up right now. As time goes on, I really do believe that there will be regulations coming up. There will be some concerns coming up because everyone is talking about it. Everyone’s interested in it. So I can’t imagine that going any much longer without any sort of further regulatory… [crosstalk 00:07:51]
Mio Asami: Especially because as of literally 2020, Delta-8 was not on anybody’s radar. I don’t want to say anybody. Wasn’t on the FDA’s radar, but the FDA was asked by Congress to create a report about CBD within the marketplace or CBD products within the marketplace. That’s really the first time that they even started testing for Delta-8. They didn’t say anything about what they’re doing with the tests with Delta-8, but they just tested the concentration. They know that it’s out there, they know it exists. It could be a precursor. It could be a sign that, that it’s coming on the radars, but on the FDA level, we don’t know yet. But anyway, disclaimer, the five effects that I talked about, anti-nausea anti-anxiety appetite stimulation, pain reduction in neuroprotection. General consensus within the field, science, with the people that use it but FDA has not approved those.
Mio Asami: But anyway, back to the effects of Delta-8. It’s a lot of the appeal of Delta eight is that it has these effects, which are much similar to Delta-9, but they’re less potent. They’re less. How do you say like what people really associate with Delta-9? You turn into a couch potato, or you get really, for lack of better word, stoned. So there’s still, like I said before, there’s still psychoactive effects, but they’re not as potent. Couch lock, less of that you get with Delta-9.
Fabiola Jimenez: So that’s telling me, how does D8 play into the Farm Bill? How does that- [crosstalk 00:09:37]
Mio Asami: Because D8 is an isomer, is a cannabinoid of cannabis. It could be derived from both marijuana and hemp, but we want to be clear that when we’re talking about the legality of things, because marijuana is still illegal federally, we’re talking about hemp-derived D8. When we say legal stuff. Whenever we’re talking about “Oh yes, it’s legal,” it’s got to be hemp-derived guys. It’s got to be less than 0.3 total THC, which legally is defined as THCA with Delta-9-THC. This means that Delta-8 is not considered in the calculations of total THC, which means that if you have whatever products that are derived from hemp with less than 0.3% THCA with Delta-9-THC, but you have a crap ton of Delta-8, it’s technically legal. That’s crazy, right? It’s still psychoactive. You can still get all these benefits, but it’s technically legal. What?
Fabiola Jimenez: Yeah, but again, I think that all stems from the fact that this is such a new topic, right? Again, I can imagine at some point some regulatory body and I’m like “Timeout, bro. We’re not going to do this.” But because it’s so new and it’s again the hot word of the next six months, I think, there’s still a lot to be had. As far as definitions and understanding to be had for Delta-8. Again, for us that are in the industry we understand how Delta-8, Delta-9 and all the other cannabinoids kind of work together and not, and are able to be, pulled out.
Mio Asami: What’s the word? What are we looking for? Extracted?
Fabiola Jimenez: Extracted. [inaudible 00:11:38]
Fabiola Jimenez: There’s a lot of work to be had, but it is pretty cool that so far, this is what it is. Don’t get too excited and expect that it’s going to be like that the whole time. That’s also, my disclaimer is that this is just the state of it as it is right now.
Mio Asami: And reason being, to rehash why hemp is legal, why we’re saying hemp-derived marijuana is legal, Hemp-derived from marijuana. What the fuck am I saying? What the reason why I’m saying hemp-derived D8 is legal is because the Farm Bill, 2018 Farm Bill, took hemp out of the definition of marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act. So the Controlled Substances act definitionally used to include hemp within the definition of marijuana, but they took that out. And then on top of that, when they said, or the Farm Bill also amended the Controlled Substances Act so that the legislation now reads that any material products that have tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is illegal, except if it’s derived from hemp, which is now also in the definition of the CSA.
Mio Asami: So, again, if it’s hemp-derived, you’re in the green for now, no pun intended, but also kind of intended. For now.
Fabiola Jimenez: Yeah, So, that brings me to my third point on this is, what is truly the DA stance on [inaudible 00:13:12]
Mio Asami: Yeah, Because we could be making laws about this all day, but if enforcement is going to do whatever the fuck they want. So we got to know, are they going to enforce it? What are they doing?
Fabiola Jimenez: So, basically what they’re saying is, again, as long as it’s derived from hemp, we’re good to go, don’t fuck around and just follow the guidelines. It is treated like hemp, and as far as that goes and we’re all good. More of their concern is dealing with them where they really have an issue is when you’re talking about synthetic D8. Which is super kind of weird, and you’re like “That’s an interesting thing, why you’re talking about synthetic?”
Mio Asami: Because shit like spice was up and about for a while.
Fabiola Jimenez: Exactly, 100%. So you have people that are trying to isolate those molecules, I don’t know if I’m saying that right. They’re trying to isolate the cannabinoids, the Delta-8, the Delta-9, the THC to create much more potent products. So, what the DA said “Look, as long as, basically you’re not fucking with nature, this is coming straight from the hemp as we have laid it out right now, then you’re good. But if you start trying to pull it, just because we’re saying that it’s okay to be hemp-derived and Delta-8 is okay to have an existence under our laws, that doesn’t give you a license to say ‘Okay, all D8 is legal. So, however I come about it,’ then we can’t because, no.” They’re really are trying to stick within those realms of no synthetic anything, because once it is synthetic and it’s not hemp, it’s not derived by hemp, but it’s no longer, [crosstalk 00:15:00] you’re violating the CSA.
Mio Asami: You don’t fall under the exception within the CSA. So now you’re within the CSA, which is then saying, that’s a controlled substance. [Crosstalk 00:15:12].
Fabiola Jimenez: Then you need to go to jail. Just saying.
Mio Asami: Just saying. But also there is kind of some gray areas about what it means to be synthetic. People, some labs will say like “Whatever extraction process they use, or Wikipedia has a certain definition for synthetic, but it’s so broad that using a lab to create, or not create, but to isolate Delta-8, by way of chemical reaction or whatever the fuck that Wikipedia uses to define synthetic, would then qualify as synthetic. Then how do you extract D8 without it falling under that definition of synthetic. There really isn’t a consensus on how it’s derived, what qualifies as synthetic, but we do have something, Fabi, from the DA that comes close to it. At least. It’s really all we got right now.
Fabiola Jimenez: To be honest with you, again, there’s no real definition of what synthetic is, the way that I came across it in a way that I think that the DA is trying to get across this message is you have what’s lab created and what’s the lab extracted. When they say synthetic is they don’t want you coming up with some table salt or some kombucha bullshit and be like “I’m making this into Delta-8” versus, you have a plant and you’re able to extract the Delta-8 from the plant so long as it is a hemp plant. So, they have these two silos, which I think is as close to definition of what synthetic is as of right now. Again, another disclaimer is that this is a work in progress.
Fabiola Jimenez: There’s going to be trials and errors. The DA is going to be learning from our mistakes and people in the industry as they start pushing through this product. At any given point in time, they’re going to be able to bridge those gaps of what is synthetic and what is not synthetic, what they want to be synthetic and not, and create those qualifiers down the road as this topic of Delta-8 becomes more mature, just like CBD, right? People have a really good understanding of what CBD is. Delta-8 has to go to the same growth spurt to really be able to understand where they want it to go and how they want it to be viewed within the public and it’s our job as people in the cannabis industry to also really educate ourselves and be able to really understand. So far, we can only take what we have from the little information and the little guidance that we have from the DAA, which again is going to change as time goes on
Mio Asami: Because we know why they put in that whole section, right? Because what we said before, it’s shit like spice, it’s shit like-
Fabiola Jimenez: Krokodil [crosstalk 00:18:11] If you want to create krokodil, That’s a whole other fucking shit that’s a whole other animal. We don’t want to go there. This is what the DA said.
Mio Asami: The DEA is like “People getting high on this shit. [crosstalk 00:18:27] We got to prevent that shit from happening” So the legislators were like “Okay” Then they just [crosstalk 00:18:38].
Fabiola Jimenez: We actually have a really good article. The managing attorney down in Portland, was interviewed on an article for a magazine that actually touches upon some of these gaps and that it comes when you’re talking about extractions. We’re definitely going to upload that to our social media so you guys can get an understanding of what we’re talking about when we’re talking about these gaps in these opportunities for people to get in trouble, even though they’re abiding by, again, the little guidance that we have in this industry.
Mio Asami: Because again, we could write all laws, all day. Yeah, all day. At the end of the day, if the PO’s going to come to your door and say “This is what law says, and this is how I’m taking it and you’re doing this illegally because I’m taking it this way.” Then at the end of the day, you still got to fight it. They have that power and it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a good case to fight it because you definitely do. You still got to fight it.
Fabiola Jimenez: It’s part of the learning curve, the number of people that got in trouble arrested, sued for CBD products in the beginning of the game was something stupid when you compare the market now where you find CBD products at Walgreens. Again, we have to go through the same growth spurt with DA.
Mio Asami: Even with CBD, FDA still like “They’re still in the premature era or premature stages. FDA stance, they don’t allow it in food and dietary supplements and things like that, but people still do it.
Fabiola Jimenez: Exactly, it’s part of the growth spurt. [inaudible 00:20:10] and that’s where we’re at right now. That brings me to our final point, what does D8 mean for future treatment? Mio talked a little bit about the anti-nausea, anti-anxiety, the appetite stimulant effects of D8. As we’re looking forward, again, I think as long as there isn’t some really bad various actors out there they’re really up for everybody else.
Mio Asami: Which granted there always is.
Fabiola Jimenez: There always is and please don’t be that person. I love to take your money but please, don’t be that person. [inaudible 00:20:43]
Mio Asami: We won’t take your case if you’re that person. Let’s be real.
Fabiola Jimenez: Stop your shit.
Mio Asami: Let’s be real.
Fabiola Jimenez: Those are undeniable facts, right? You have the National Cancer Institute telling you, “If you have this stuff in, be smoke, D8, you don’t eat. [crosstalk 00:21:00] It’s a physical thing. It helps and one thing that scares people a lot is, is not being able to control themselves when they’re smoking weed. It really gives them that head high and they don’t get the other effects that they want, which is “I just want the munchies” So, the D8 really is an answer to that question and say, this is a lighter version of the weed that gets you what you need as far as being able to crave food and to be able to keep food down without the psychoactive [inaudible 00:21:30] the psychoactive effects of the cannabis. Oh, my god.
Mio Asami: One benefit of having those anti-anxiety properties is that a lot of people, myself included, a lot of people will smoke Delta-9, THC, these products and they get super fucking paranoid, but Delta-8, they say, you don’t get that. So, That in itself is great [crosstalk 00:22:00] That was in high school. That’s a different story.
Fabiola Jimenez: So, I think the future treatment of Delta-8 as an actual aid to people that are suffering from some of these illness, I think it’s going to be a really positive thing. Again, then what I keep saying is one of the most important things that we have as people in this industry is to really create these educational moments where people really become aware of these situations, really start to understand what these different cannabinoids can do. So when they smoke, join for the first time in 35 years, they’re not losing their minds or if they can get over the stigma of like “Well, I want to smoke weed because I really need to eat, but I don’t want to get all fucked up and not be able to get up off my couch”
Fabiola Jimenez: Those are, those are all moments of learning that we can press upon everybody, we work together to create those opportunities to get over the stigma which I can’t stress enough education, education, education. Because how great is it [crosstalk 00:23:05] Yeah, how great is it that if you can isolate something like Delta-8 to literally just support you in your appetite when you have cancer or when you have any other ailments, you can’t eat and that’s the only way you can eat, but you can go on and on functioning and you still have to work and everyone’s working from home. It’s going to be a really awesome and important milestone in this growth of cannabis education.
Mio Asami: Yeah, 100%. It’s just another reason why, first of all, if we get into conspiracy theories, it’s another reason why we all know that this plant was illegal for a really long time.
Fabiola Jimenez: Hold up, hold up, hold up. Let me just go ahead and fucking say yes [crosstalk 00:23:56].
Mio Asami: That’s not even conspiracy theories, I feel the general fucking public knows that the reason why like half the reason why this shit was illegal for the longest time is because…
Fabiola Jimenez: Because of the US government being fucking greedy.
Mio Asami: All racist shit.
Fabiola Jimenez: Oh, my god. Also racism. [Crosstalk 00:24:20]
Mio Asami: Yeah, also racism but also pharmaceuticals. [Crosstalk 00:24:25]
Fabiola Jimenez: Because let me tell you, you know what I found [crosstalk 00:24:29] Let me tell you what I found, I found that US government has a patent on uses Anti mic uses of Delta-8, circa 2004, 2007 around there. Yes. So you can tell me the Delta [crosstalk 00:24:47] They know.
Mio Asami: You’re going to tell me the government is going to patent this and still make it so the american fucking people, we the god-damned people, cannot use this or sell this shit. I don’t fucking think so.
Fabiola Jimenez: Exactly. This is why I’m saying all [crosstalk 00:25:02] I don’t know if this is real. [crosstalk 00:25:05]
Fabiola Jimenez: So, take that into account. This isn’t new information, it’s definitely hidden information. You can, as you go down some of these deep rabbit holes as we do, when we’re doing research for our shows, you can see that, I was shook when I saw that there was a US patent on the Delta-8, this is wild. Yet I’m fighting to figure out what the DA from the dumb memo that’s half filled out, what the stance is. I know what the government stance is, but there is Delta-8 in less than 20 minutes if our editor does this show…
Mio Asami: Four points of Delta-8.
Mio Asami: Four points of Delta-8. Follow us on Instagram at Cultivating Convos, Ping us Cultiva Law’s Facebook page. Let us know if there’s any topics that you guys want us to cover. Happy to talk about anything that is of interest to our lovely public but in the meantime, hopefully y’all stay safe,
Mio Asami: Stay for real.
Fabiola Jimenez: For real-
Mio Asami: Insurrections galore, stay safe.
Fabiola Jimenez: A lot of racism happening out here. So stay safe y’all and then we’ll catch you guys in the next episode