Rochester, NY: Delta-8 vapor products frequently contain heavy metals and are typically far less potent than advertised on the products’ labeling, according to data published in the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology.
A pair of researchers affiliated with the University of Rochester, Department of Environmental Medicine assessed the purity of 27 e-cigarette products containing synthetically derived delta-8 THC.
Researchers determined that none of the products provided accurate labeling regarding delta-8 THC content – a finding that is consistent with prior research. They wrote, “Delta-8 THC levels can vary as much as 40 percent from the label value, suggestive of poor testing capabilities and falsified results.”
Additionally, 11 of the products contained high levels of “unlabeled cutting agents,” and all of the products tested positive for the presence of heavy metals – including magnesium, chromium, nickel, and mercury. Investigators suggested, “These metals are likely leachates from vaporizer components or production materials, and their inhalation could cause deleterious effects on the respiratory tract that stem from the generation of reactive oxygen species.” Prior analyses of commercially available vapor cartridges have similarly identified the presence of metal contaminants following the use of the cartridges’ heating mechanisms.
“Further chemical, pharmacological, and toxicological testing of these and similar products is necessary,” authors concluded.
Although delta-8 THC appears organically in cannabis, it is only produced in minute amounts. By contrast, the elevated quantities of delta-8 THC in grey market products is the result of a chemical synthesis during which manufacturers convert CBD to delta-8 THC. Manufacturers engaged in synthetizing delta-8 THC are not regulated and often use potentially dangerous household products to facilitate this process.
In October, NORML issued a report on delta-8 THC and other novel, synthetically derived cannabinoids that cautioned consumers to avoid these unregulated products because they are untested and may contain impurities.
Full text of the study, “Novel delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol vaporizers contain unlabeled adulterants, unintended byproducts of chemical synthesis, and heavy metals,” appears in Chemical Research in Toxicology. Full text of NORML’s report, “NORML’s Guide to Delta-8 THC and Other Novel Cannabinoids,” appears online.