Medical Marijuana Is Safer Simply Because It Is Regulated
Yet another recent news story has highlighted how lucky we are to be able to get a Mississippi Marijuana Card by spotlighting some of the more dangerous cannabis-based options on the market.
We’ve explained the dangers of unregulated cannabis-based products such as delta-8 THC. Because these products are derived from hemp, which is legal, the products themselves are legal, and often subject to no regulatory scrutiny at all. Consequently, when you buy these kinds of products you never know for sure what you’re getting.
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal recently examined CBD products which are similarly derived from hemp and also unregulated, and concluded that the buyer had better beware. When it comes to treating your qualifying conditions with cannabis, you’re better off sticking with the safe, regulated option of medical marijuana.
CBD? THC? Delta-8? What’s the Difference?
Because there are so many cannabis-based supplements and products on the market, people often get confused by all of the different terminology. So before looking at the Journal’s story, let’s pause to make sure we’re all on the same page.
Both hemp and marijuana are cannabis plants, but hemp has only a negligible amount of THC, which is one of the most important ingredients in medical marijuana.
Delta-8 and delta-10 THC imitate the properties of natural THC, but are derived artificially by altering hemp. As for CBD, it occurs naturally in both hemp and marijuana, but the unregulated CBD products you see on the market are derived exclusively from hemp, so they can get around the legal regulations that medical marijuana providers must adhere to.
In short, delta-8 and 10 THC is synthetic and chemically altered products. They are less potent and less familiar than natural THC. CBD is a vital component of medical marijuana, but when it is derived from hemp it avoids the strict regulations medical marijuana is subject to. This takes a safe, natural medicine with proven benefits and reduces it to a mystery medication.
We’ve seen time and time again how the lack of regulations by delta-8 and 10 products means that patients are often rolling the dice on what exactly they are putting in their body. This Daily Journal article reminds us that CBD products are similarly unregulated, and buying them is often a gamble.
Study Finds Mislabeled CBD Products Are Common
The Journal reports that research published in the scholarly journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence found that about 60% of CBD products also contain THC.
Now free THC with your CBD purchase may seem like a feature and not a problem to medical marijuana supporters, but that isn’t the point.
When you purchase a supplement or medicine, you should be getting that supplement or medicine, not one that could give you an unwanted or unexpected high, that might not mix well with your other medications, or that could contain other surprises.
In fact, depending on your profession, THC in your CDB products could land you in hot water at work. According to the Journal, most of the offending products that tested positive for THC had only trace amounts of the substance.
However, as lead researcher Shanna Babalonis explained to the newspaper, these trace amounts could be enough to accumulate in patients’ systems and cause them to fail a drug test.
She explained that “Military personnel, professional and amateur athletes, and people in legal disputes like child custody cases could wind up in trouble through no fault of their own, just by using an over-the-counter CBD product.”
Study Finds Labels on Regulated Products Are More Accurate
In their study, Babalonis and her colleagues bought 80 different CBD products online and brick-and-mortar retailers in Kentucky, and subjected the products to nine different analyses to ensure accurate results.
The researchers also analyzed Epidiolex, an anti-seizure drug that is heavily regulated. Babalonis and her team discovered that Epidiolex contained THC, but at a barely detectable amount, just 0.022 milligrams per milliliter.
“This is what we found in the FDA-approved product that went through really stringent controls,” Babalonis told the Journal, which should underscore the importance of well-regulated medicine.
The researchers found that 52 of the 80 products they tested contained THC, and that 37 products contained THC levels higher than Epidiolex.
Accidental THC Use Could Negatively Affect Inexperienced Cannabis Users
In addition to potential problems in their jobs, inexperienced cannabis patients may be especially affected by accidentally putting THC in their systems when they think they’re only getting CBD.
Pat Aussem of the Partnership to End Addiction in New York City, told the Journal that “If a person does not have a tolerance for THC, these trace amounts -- which can accumulate in one's fat cells as the product is used over time -- can have an effect on a person.”
Babalonis agreed with Aussem that mislabeled CBD products that contain THC can be dangerous for patients who are unaware of what’s in their supplements. “If you're buying a drink at the grocery store, you would expect when it says there's no alcohol in it, that there's no alcohol in it,” Babalonis said. “You wouldn't drink it expecting to feel some alcohol effects or maybe blow positive on a Breathalyzer. This is the same thing.”
Experts Agree That Medical Marijuana “Alternatives” Should Be Strictly Regulated
Both Babalonis and Aussem told the Journal that they think this study shows the need for stricter regulation of products that market themselves as alternatives to medical marijuana.
Babalonis told the Daily Journal that she couldn’t say for sure why so many CBD products actually contain THC, because “It's definitely possible to remove all the THC. About 30% of the products we tested didn't have any THC in them.”
While Babalonis couldn’t say for sure why so many CBD products are mislabeled, she told the Journal “sloppy manufacturing” and inadequate testing could account for it. Further, she said she has suspicions that the real reason is more sinister.
“If we're being a little bit cynical, we could think that if people feel an effect from something -- if they feel a subjective effect -- they might think that the product is working,” Babalonis said. “Whereas if you don't necessarily feel any effects from something, you may tend to think it doesn't work.”
So Babalonis said it was possible some unscrupulous, unregulated manufacturers are deliberately mislabeling their CBD products, knowing consumers will see more relief from their symptoms if they use THC, and thus will be more likely to become repeat customers.
“So I think that one of the key takeaways from this work is to say that the public needs to question whether there's THC in their CBD products,” Babalonis told the Journal.
Why Take Chances? Forget CBD and Delta-8, Try Medical Marijuana!
As Popular Science concluded after they examined the unregulated wild west of delta-8 products, “If you’re in a state that has legalized marijuana, you should buy delta-8 through a licensed store. (Or you could just buy marijuana. Your call.)”
Fortunately for you, you live in Mississippi. You will soon be able to buy THC in its natural form in medical marijuana. Not only that, but you’ll have the sense of security that comes from knowing that you’re using safe, tested medicine while under a doctor’s care.
Our medical marijuana market may not be here just yet, but there’s no reason you can’t get a head start. Reserve an evaluation online today with one of our knowledgeable and compassionate doctors, and we’ll make an appointment for you just as soon as Mississippi’s medical marijuana market is ready. Not only that, but you’ll save $25 off the cost of the evaluation!
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If you have any questions, call us at (833) 781-6635, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!