Hemp-Based Delta-9 THC Products Get Me Just as High as Real Weed! – Well, That’s Because It Probably Is Real Cannabis

August 8, 2023 · Cannabis.net

recent lab study conducted by CBD Oracle has brought alarming revelations to the forefront of the cannabis industry. According to the survey, 26% of hemp delta-9 THC products in the market are not as innocent as they claim to be. Instead of being sourced from legally compliant hemp plants, a significant portion of these products is derived from federally-illegal marijuana plants. The findings, published on August 1, 2023, have raised concerns about the safety and transparency of consumer hemp products.

The Regulatory Conundrum

The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, commonly known as the 2018 Farm Bill, was a significant legislative milestone that impacted hemp and marijuana regulations in the United States. Officially signed into law on December 20, 2018, it brought about important changes to the status of hemp.

Cannabis and hemp are different from one another in terms of their chemical makeup and intended purposes. Marijuana is recognized for its high concentrations of THC, the psychoactive substance that gives marijuana its high effects. In contrast, hemp has a low THC content but is high in cannabidiol (CBD) concentration, making it useful for many industrial purposes.

Before the enactment of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp cultivation and usage were strictly restricted by the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) of 1970. Hemp was categorized as a Schedule I controlled substance given its resemblance to marijuana, making it illegal to cultivate.

However, hemp restrictions underwent a dramatic change due to the 2018 Farm Bill. Removing hemp from the CSA’s list of prohibited substances effectively made industrial hemp cultivation, production, and processing legal. Thanks to this shift, farmers and companies in the hemp sector now have new options.

The key provisions of the 2018 Farm Bill regarding hemp are as follows:

  1. Legalization of Hemp: The bill defined hemp as the Cannabis sativa plant and any parts, including seeds and derivatives, containing no more than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis. Cannabis plants with THC levels exceeding this threshold were still classified as marijuana and remained controlled substances.
  2. Agricultural Hemp Programs: The 2018 Farm Bill allowed states and tribes to submit to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) plans for regulating hemp production inside their borders. This clause gave state and tribal governments the freedom to run their hemp initiatives in accordance with their particular needs.
  3. Interim Hemp Production: While states and tribes were developing their regulatory plans, the bill allowed for hemp cultivation under certain conditions. This facilitated the hemp industry’s growth even before the finalized regulations were in place.
  4. Interstate CommerceThe bill permitted the transport of hemp and hemp products across state lines as long as the involved states or tribes authorized hemp production.

Farmers, producers, and consumers all expressed optimism about the legalization of hemp due to the 2018 Farm Bill. Because of this, there was a sudden rise in demand for CBD products such as oils, tinctures, edibles, and topicals, which sped up the growth of the CBD sector generated from hemp.

The 2018 Farm Bill, though intended to create a clear distinction between hemp and marijuana, inadvertently opened the floodgates for the production of intoxicating-but-legal products. The bill defines hemp as a cannabis plant containing less than 0.3% delta-9 THC by dry weight.

Manufacturers have exploited this definition to justify the sale of products containing high levels of THC under the guise of “hemp delta-9.” Manufacturers have sometimes chemically modified CBD to produce delta-8 THC, another intoxicating compound, and labeled it “hemp.” These loopholes have led to a proliferation of potentially dangerous products.

Study Methodology and Results

The study, conducted by CBD Oracle in collaboration with InfiniteCAL Labs, analyzed 53 of the most popular hemp delta-9 THC products. The results were alarming. While only two products exceeded the legal limit of 0.3% delta-9 THC, a staggering 66% differed by more than 10% from their stated dosage. Even more concerning, 75% of the products were not tested for impurities by their manufacturers.

A novel analytical strategy proposed in the research found that three-quarters of the hemp delta-9 products did not naturally contain THC produced by the hemp plant. Of this percentage, 49% of products used a reaction banned in several states, including Colorado, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and North Dakota, to produce their delta-9 THC. The remaining 26% sourced their THC illegally from marijuana plants. This means that in some states, more than 75% of the so-called “hemp delta-9” products are, in fact, illegal.

InfiniteCAL’s lab manager, Dr. Erik Paulson, emphasizes that most “hemp-sourced” or “hemp-derived” delta-9 THC is either derived from cannabis or converted from CBD isolate through a chemical reaction. This form of delta-9 THC is not naturally occurring in hemp and can pose potential health risks to consumers.

Proposed Solutions

The study calls upon governments to implement specific measures to ensure the safety and transparency of consumer hemp products. These proposed solutions include:

  1. Establishing Maximum THC Doses: Governments should define and regulate maximum THC doses per serving for hemp products to prevent the sale of overly potent items.
  2. Age Limits: Implementing age restrictions for purchasing hemp products containing THC will help reduce potential misuse by minors.
  3. Mandatory Lab Testing: Manufacturers should be required to conduct rigorous lab testing to ensure their products meet safety standards and do not contain illegal substances.


The CBD Oracle study has shed light on a concerning aspect of the cannabis industry, raising awareness about federally-illegal THC in hemp products. The lax regulations surrounding hemp and its THC content have led to the proliferation of potentially harmful effects in the market.

Addressing these issues requires prompt action from governments and manufacturers alike to safeguard consumer health and ensure the transparency of cannabis products. As the industry continues to evolve, consumer safety should remain a top priority in every aspect of product development and distribution. (Full Story)

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