To Be Blunt: The Podcast for Cannabis Marketers

The T(HC) Break: Is Delta 8 THC a Synthetic?

November 08, 2021 Shayda Torabi
To Be Blunt: The Podcast for Cannabis Marketers
The T(HC) Break: Is Delta 8 THC a Synthetic?
Show Notes Transcript

Welcome to a brand new segment on the To Be Blunt podcast!

The T(hc) Break is here to accomplish two things:

1. Encourage more transparency in the cannabis industry as it relates to HOT TOPICS
and 2. Spill some piping hot T(HC) and talk about controversial issues so we can better work towards a solution together, as an industry.

I have and always will be here to speak as bluntly as possible, and yes this is still a marketing and business podcast, but I also believe in the power of education, and despite cannabis being around for tens of thousands of years, the legal market as we see it today is just getting ramped up.

We no longer just have marijuana and THC, we talk about terpenes, and minor cannabinoids. We've reinvigorated the hemp plant with its multitude of uses and applications.  We're beyond just smoking the flower and have seen consumption methods adopted from dissolvable powders to patches. And the language for which we discuss this plant is amateur at best, we are a work in progress.

So this segment aims to tackle that, more real time issues and news. Mixed with honest viewpoints and perspectives, not to force "it's my way or the highway," but to create a safe space for ALL OF US, to level up this industry together.

Today's episode discusses:
Is Delta 8 THC A synthetic?

Delta 8 THC is a hot topic here in Texas, and really across the United States. It's gotten a bad reputation for being called a Synthetic, a D9 substitute, and other negative associations. But I have and will always defend all cannabinoids. I believe if it comes from the plant, it plays a role in how we experience the plant. And thanks to research, we are beginning to do the research to better understand these individual components of the cannabis plant.

With that said, I think that it is fair to say that yes there is BAD DELTA 8 THC out there, just like there is BAD DELTA 9 THC out there as well. That is the reality. We have a lot of work to do as an industry. But from personal experience, lots of consumers are finding true relief with Delta 8 THC, and I believe that we should be paying attention to that. Paying attention to the pharmaceutical industry who is isolating cannabinoids. And giving these cannabinoids a fair fighting chance before writing them off.

Joining me today for the discussion is Chemist Mark Krause, and his son and Hemp business owner and manufacturer Marco Krause. They are based here in Austin, and have become great resources for myself personally. I really have enjoyed getting to learn from Mark and Marco over the years, and decided I would invite them on to have an open and transparent discussion focusing on the chemistry of Delta 8 for the podcast to inspire curiosity and a new perspective. As always, please reach out if you have any questions or thoughts to add.

A little more about my guests:
Mark Krause is currently the laboratory and technical director for Krause Analytical, LLC. He has extensive experience and expertise in the application and interpretation of chromatographic and spectroscopic methods of analysis to samples from a wide variety of sources. He has over 40 years of direct experience in environmental chemistry, food residue analysis, semiconductor, bioanalytical, pharmaceutical and trace forensic analysis.

Marco Krause is a former athlete and is currently studying to become a pharmacologist.
Having had extensive shoulder pain, and ankle surgery, Marco has suffered from
chronic pain and started Dr. MAK’s Apothecary as a natural solutions products company.
Having helped formulate ‘

RESTART CBD is an education first CBD wellness brand shipping nationwide.

Shayda Torabi  0:01  
Hello, and welcome to a special episode of The to be blunt podcast. It's been on my heart for some time to think of new and interesting ways to educate you guys. I have had such a wonderful time getting to create the to be blunt podcasts, I've obviously gotten to talk to some incredible guests and pick their brains on topics and have questions answered beyond my wildest dreams and understanding. But as I continue to submerge myself more in this industry, it only got me thinking, how can I continue to educate myself and educate others. And that's been a constant of my life for as long as I can remember, I continue to find myself in positions of education. And I realize kind of in the same breath, that there are a lot of topics that I don't really talk about on this podcast, part of me definitely acknowledges maybe other people are talking about them. But part of me also acknowledges, why am I not talking about them. And so I really wanted to deliver something to y'all that was a space that you could trust, that information was not just being shared from a place of this is right versus wrong. But really, from a stance of, let's debate it, let's discuss it, let's explore it together. And kind of with that said, I've been noodling on this, you know, segment this unique kind of, you know, type of conversation for some while. But there's been a really pressing topic in my industry in my world here in Texas for the past couple of weeks, months, really, that I thought would be the perfect way to dive into this segment. So with that said, the new segment is going to be called the tea break. On one hand, the tea break represents THC, my favorite cannabinoid. And on the other end, the T stands for piping and hot. I want this space to be a place where we are not afraid to have controversial conversations. And again, to approach it not from a negative perspective. But from an educational perspective. My intent is not to create dissonance, but to rather create more community around how do we continue to evolve this industry and level it up in the process. And this is one of the ways that I believe I know how to do which is to have conversations and to get people thinking. So today's topic is really going to structure around is delta eight, a synthetic? I know that delta eight has been super controversial in the past couple years since it's hit the market. There's obviously many conversations surrounding it from how it's made to its legal status. And I think that the thing that I've observed the most is that we're not really speaking about delta eight, always from the same perspective or language, really. And I think that that is part of what I want to address in today's episode is how do we talk about delta eight? What is delta eight? And really what is a synthetic to help us hopefully answer is delta ADA synthetic. joining me for today's discussion is a father son duo. I've had the pleasure of getting to know them over the past couple years, because they're based here in Austin and a part of our hemp community. Mark, Kazi and Marco krazee are two incredibly intelligent gentlemen who have over time helped educate me. And so I thought that they would be perfect guests for this conversation, because they're both highly intelligent, and have a really great way of distilling that information down so that anybody can really understand it.

Mark has been a part of the pharmacology industry for many years. He has run a lab for the past decade or so and has been a part of the industry from a chemistry perspective for the last 40 plus years. Of course, the Apple hasn't fallen far from the tree. His son Marco is an up and coming student interested in pharmacology, and also has his own hemp and cannabis brand. And that is kind of the foundation for their education and experience to help dissect today's conversation. So I really want to allow mark and Marco to walk us through some of these questions that I've posed for them. But before I invite them on, I just want to again, remind you to listen to this episode with open ears. And if you have questions, feel free to reach out so we can have a discussion. But other than that, I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to present these conversations to the public, whether you're in the industry or your consumer who's trying to make sense of what exactly is happening. I think that this information shared is really relevant to get us to the next iteration of cannabis here in America, as well as cannabis in Texas. So without further ado, let's welcome Mark and Marco to the show.

Okay, so we are kicking off a discussion that is really, really relevant. Obviously, there's a lot of noise, I'm going to say the word noise noise around Delta ate both at a federal level and at a state level. And here in Austin, I have the pleasure of getting to communicate, be in a community with you guys work together and just ultimately learn from the knowledge that you both share. And so to kind of start things off, please introduce yourselves and tell us a little bit more about your background and kind of, I guess how you got into the cannabis industry here in Texas. And really, ultimately how we get to talk about the chemistry of Delta eight THC.

Marco Krause  6:08  
No, okay. Well, I guess I'll go ahead and start it off. So my name is Marco krazee. I, I happen to be a current college student. I mean, I dropped out originally to actually join the hemp industry here in Texas because I started off with CBD. And I started off by making gummies. I mean, I happen to be the founder and owner of Dr. Max apothecary and underground alchemy, both which happen to make cannabinoid products and we also make other products that aren't necessarily can happen with bass, but more just natural solutions. And so from there, I mean, I'm going to be studying for a while, but I do plan on being a pharmacologist at some point so that I can actually find out that what I'm giving you actually works or doesn't, right.

Mark Krause  6:48  
My name is Mark Kraus, D I'm the owner of crazy analytical LLC, which is a testing laboratory here in Austin. I've been in the chemistry business for 45 years. I provide primarily expert witness to courtrooms and to defense lawyers for an a variety of, of different types of cases. I'm peripherally involved in the cannabis industry in that i i do expert testimony and I do work with Marco directly on product testing and product formulation.

Shayda Torabi  7:19  
And it's fair I can highlight you know your family your related so you do spend a lot of time together. Mark you kind of being you know, the patriarch, but also influencing a lot of Marco's passion and curiosity and ultimately the education that he possesses around all the great things that we're going to dive into and dissect in today's conversation. Here we go. Everybody buckle up, because it's bound to be juicy. So yeah, kind of on that topic. I think recently there's been some mis communication misuse of certain words around delta a is delta A synthetic so that's kind of the overarching question that I want to frame today's conversation with is delta eight THC A synthetic, but to kind of back up and give the listeners a little bit of a framework. What is delta eight THC?

Unknown Speaker  8:15  
Don't take THC is one of six primary isomers of tetrahydrocannabinol. So there are we the common ones that everybody knows about, or delta eight Delta nine people have heard of delta 10. There's Delta six 810 A, there's Delta six, and they're still to seven. To the best of our knowledge. As far as published literature goes, there are only three that are psychoactive that would be delta H delta nine and delta six i 10. A. These were discovered by a gentleman by the name of Ralph metodom. Back in the 70s. He is currently employed by the Hebrew University in Israel, and is continuing and doing is cannabinoid research, really, when we talk about isomers. These are molecules that have the same molecular weight, they differ in a chemical bond or a chem or a bond position. I won't talk about tetrahydrocannabinol. It's a bond position that distinguishes between them. The isomers are relatively stable. However, they do undergo what is known as isomerization where the bond moves. So we can for example, see, in certain procedures that delta nine will, if you if you're cleaning up Delta nine by distillation, you will get some delta eight. We know that if you had CB let's let's take a sidetrack here for a moment. CBD is another isomer of the th C's CBD has the same molecular weight has very different chemical structure and it has obviously very different pharmacological effects. But we know that CBD can be isomerized. That is it can it can go to these other THC forms. So we can take CBD to Delta eight, we can take CBD to Delta nine, we can take CBD to Delta six 810 A, we can take CBD to delta 10. The other two th C's are not very stable. When we talk about six and seven, they're not highly stable. And so they're really hard to get to, by isomerization, you can synthesize them, but summarizing a little bit more difficult. Each and every time you move that bond, you get different pharmacological properties. So it reacts differently in your body

Shayda Torabi  10:46  
like effects, right, like different feelings. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker  10:49  
Um, Marco, you want to jump in and talk about that?

Unknown Speaker  10:53  
Yeah. So I mean, one of the things is obviously, being a producer of Delta eight and whatnot. One of the things that we've noticed, and I mean, this is kind of where delta even got most of its marketing standpoints from the beginning was the fact that it's not delta nine, and it does not have the same properties as far as what it does to you or the feelings that you get. The other thing is, I mean, there's other isomers on the market now. And obviously, there's other cannabinoids that are claimed to be psychoactive or have certain effects that maybe they do, or maybe they don't, but the fact of the matter is, if they happen to, I guess, trigger your endocannabinoid system, they are psychoactive somewhat. And so that being said, I mean, Delta ate it's notably been said that it's more of a body high, and it does not produce the same type of paranoia that delta nine does, right. However, now that there's other isomers jumping on the market, you hear about certain things where Oh, Delta eight and affects with delta 10. It works together kind of like delta nine and then there's other things like delta six 810, a, also known as delta three and another nomenclature, where they end up having similar effects to Delta nine, but it's still not the same thing. And I will say from personal use it it's definitely not delta eight. So there are there are things as far as the pharmacological standpoint as far as what these things do that, you know, yeah, the isomers have different effects. And obviously, whenever you talk about the different cannabinoids, if you start getting into the tail links on the back end, so you've got thc v, you have DHCP. And obviously you can talk about THC, but that's completely different thing that's actually analog, but thc v and THC P I mean, thc v doesn't really have any no notable effects according to a lot of people. But DHCP supposedly is like 30 times stronger than delta nine. And so yeah, the the binding in your receptors is much different based on what that positioning is.

Unknown Speaker  12:36  
And and I think it's a good time. Let's jump in here and just make a distinction real quick, because we're going to get there so this is a really good point to bring it in. I talked about Ralph matola, who's is a research chemist, an exceptionally good chemist. Mr. Doc, Dr. matola discovered all of the cannabinoids by studying extracts of marijuana. All of these compounds are naturally occurring. When they're naturally occurring, we call those phyto cannabinoids Right? So there's an entire spectrum I think we're up to 113 or something like that of compounds that have that have cannabinoid structures that have been discovered in the plant itself. These are all naturally occurring compounds, these do not meet your normal definition of a synthetic compound.

Shayda Torabi  13:33  
So kind of going off of that what it like what does it mean? What is a synthetic from your perspective?

Unknown Speaker  13:41  
So if you go look up synthesis in freshman chemistry books, and we can provide you whole stacks of them, right? None of them are any good, but we can provide you lots and lots of stacks.

Shayda Torabi  13:50  
The definition is evolved maybe maybe

Unknown Speaker  13:53  
synthesis involves chemical manipulation to create a new compound from starting products. I summarization which is what we're talking about here, we're not creating new compounds from starting from different starting products, we have the same starting product which in the case of most people happen, sorry about that happens to be CBD isomerization can be done without any catalyst it can be done without any chemicals. It occurs naturally in the plant there are there are known biochemical pathways in the plant to get to Delta eight to get to Delta six. I can't wait to get to one that Marco reference which is called th CP, which was discovered by a group in Italy a few years ago. And you can get there with heat and light. Now you can go look in any freshman chemistry texts, and you're going to find out that neither eat nor light are considered to be cannabis like this. I understand that there are some government agencies that have tried to make the argument that heat and light are catalysts. No Eat catalysts. So

Shayda Torabi  15:01  
meaning if they were seen as catalysts, then that would be a part of the synthetic process because those applied are transitioning the compound into another form.

Unknown Speaker  15:11  
Right? Some people who've tried to make the argument that heat and light or sun or, or candles because they're trying to make the argument that the isomers are synthetic. No, the isomers are not synthetic, they are naturally occurring. They can all be extracted from the plant, they can all be summarized without any chemical manipulation of anything that would be recognized as chemical manipulation by a chemist into other forms. So yes, they are naturally occurring compounds.

Shayda Torabi  15:39  
Okay, cool. I appreciate that clarification. Because I think obviously, in our world, we are very aware of these different cannabinoids coming to market. I think from a consumer perspective, there, maybe interpretation maybe just like their lack of you no understanding is limited, right. And I think it's great to obviously be able to sit down and have a conversation with y'all to pull together this information in a really digestible way because I think consumers just obviously don't know what they don't know. And a lot of the sentiment especially when delta eight first hit the market was, you know, where did this come from? But you obviously you know, highlighted this has been inherently present in the plant, and for maybe, you know, to dumb it down a little bit to clarify, you know, cannabis being the main type of plant but it is present in both hemp and marijuana or high THC strains. So it's,

Unknown Speaker  16:30  
yeah, cannabis is cannabis, same plant, right, whether we, whether we grow it under conditions that produces marijuana, whether we grow it under conditions that produce him, cannabis is cannabis in the bio the biochemistry doesn't change, right. And I don't want to I don't want to try to imply that you can't make synthetic forms of the THCs you very obviously can. As a matter of fact, this is part of what the medical marijuana industry is based on Dronabinol is a synthetic form of marijuana, of marijuana of Delta nine THC.

Shayda Torabi  17:05  
And so when you say synthetic it means it's not actually derived from the marijuana plant it is a lab created synthetic product that is structured very similar to Delta nine THC to create the effects of Delta nine but is not again extracted from the actual plant

Unknown Speaker  17:23  
it is this exactly the same structure, okay, but it is not extracted from the plant itself. So the compound itself is the same delta nine THC is delta nine THC no matter where it came from. But in the case of Dronabinol, because it is a pharmaceutical or what's known as an active pharmaceutical, compound directed pharmaceutical ingredient. The FDA has very strict regulations as to the types of impurities that can be present. And the easiest and most economical pathway to get very pure Delta nine THC is to synthesize it. So the drone and all this on the market is synthetic Delta nine, but it is legal. It's you know, it International has has its uses. There is CBD on the market. That's an active pharmaceutical compound. It's Marco, what

Shayda Torabi  18:16  
are Ilex? Yeah,

Unknown Speaker  18:17  
well, I do want to highlight one thing you did say Martin's was mentioned that delta nine if you can get it derived from anything that isn't marijuana, obviously in memes that are cost effective. But nowadays with how money grows there are out there, you can get delta nine that is, say non synthetically derived. So where it's just directly extracted from the plant, because obviously you have these high THC strains, which are marijuana right now, right, based on the definition of the hemp bill. And so with that being said, you can get delta nine from THCA, just through distillation, right, and you can get it relatively pure for cheap, it's just once it gets to the market, it's relatively expensive still, because of the way that the programs are set up. And I mean, especially here in Texas, right? Well, and

Shayda Torabi  19:01  
you also highlighted something, right. It's, I guess, a question I want to poke a little bit at. These are I'm gonna go as far as saying it's an FDA approved drug because it is to be you know, conditioned in that category, this Epidiolex or whatever the Delta nine THC synthetic version is that does that mean it's safe, even though it's a synthetic, right? Like I'm trying to, I guess attack the question of just because something may be a synthetic does synthetic always equal bad or wrong or negative or unsafe?

Unknown Speaker  19:33  
No, as a matter of fact, I would argue the opposite. One of the things that happens when you have FDA control processes is they're very tightly controlled. So all of the impurities have to be identified in an FDA pharmaceutical and it when it's when it's what's called an API. If you're using an API, which is again, the active pharmaceutical ingredient, you have to know what your impurity is. This just isn't isn't the case for plant derived material, you make an extract. And you may have, like I said, we have 113 cannabinoids that are known, that doesn't count the terpenes, that doesn't count the flavonoids. Okay, there's 1000s upon 1000s of compounds that come out of a plant when you extract it. We don't know what these do. So if you take plant extract, and you clean it up, but you only clean it up to a certain extent, I would argue that you're actually a little more dangerous than running with it with a known pharmaceutical compound. Now, that said, obviously, marijuana has been used for 1000s of years, and there's been no known harm for 1000s of years. So I'm not I'm not saying oh, boy, marijuana bad, okay. And no devil wheat? No, no, I'm not, I'm not going down that path. But the synthetics are clearly clearly safe. All of our medicines, almost, I shouldn't say all 90 plus percent of the medicines that we use today, were discovered in a plant. They have been purified. They have been synthesized, the pathways are known to make them and they're now used widely. I mean, all of our antibiotics, all of our our pain, medicine, medications, all all of our vitamins, etc, etc. These are all things that were discovered in plants, and then worked up into a synthetic process and are clearly very safe and very efficient.

Shayda Torabi  21:30  
I guess that's kind of a little bit, you know, where Marco and I were talking before we were recording in the, you know, days weeks kind of proceeding up to ultimately having this conversation. I think what I want to clarify for the listeners as well is, I think there's such a negative sentiment around Delta eight, which is so unfortunate, because I think one words are being misused. I think people obviously just don't have a good understanding of things they don't know. And because marijuana hasn't been federally legalized, we lack a ton of research on the plant in general. And so kind of where Marco and I were making a correlation is, especially in light of the Delta eight conversation, right? It's, there's good and bad Delta nine out there. So it shouldn't be let's remove Delta eight from the market. In my opinion, I'm totally pro regulation. I'm totally pro standardization. Of course, I know, we always talk to kind of offline about the inconsistencies when it comes to testing facilities in general, in our industry, like that, to me is a huge gap of information that we just lack in transparency. But going back to kind of Delta eight versus delta nine, it's like, is there bad Delta eight out there, you better fucking believe that there's bad Delta eight out there, just like there's bad Delta nine, I would not buy products from a black market. Just like I might not buy products from a brand who can't educate me articulate these different points and have a conversation to inform the consumer. And Marco, you kind of talked about a little bit earlier too. And then in terms of the the differences of how these different cannabinoids effects are, right? And so I think with a state like Texas, people's original assumption is oh, well, you don't have legal Delta nine to play with. So you must be going after this other random cannabinoid that just came out of nowhere. It's like, no, it's existed. But yes, people are figuring out different ways to extract the plant to, you know, I summarize these different cannabinoids to explore other effects. And I think from a position where I talk to customers on a daily basis, and you have customers who have either experienced Delta nine THC, and have now tried Delta eight, and they find that it is more therapeutic for their medicinal purposes without the psychotropic headache and anxiety that I think Delta nine usually produces. They're enjoying it. And so to me, I'm like, man, if customers are really appreciating this cannabinoid, why is it getting such a negative effect when the reality is you can have good marijuana, you can have bad marijuana, you can have good D nine, bad D nine, good D a bad day. So to me, the argument of all Delta eight is bad is a really a really poor argument. Right. And so I guess that's, you know, kind of where I'm coming from. I'm curious what your thoughts are on that statement?

Unknown Speaker  24:10  
I agree with that. 100% of I think, as in any industry, there are good players, there are bad players. And then there's what I like to call coming out of the out of the old myth, you know, the old biker myth gang stuff, bath bathtub chemists, okay. Unfortunately, Delta eight lends itself readily to bathtub chemistry. It is it is there is one specific pathway and we won't go into the chemistry because that's a little more than that's that's a different conversation. There's one specific pathway that literally anybody with one class in chemistry can can go make delta eight. Unfortunately, it also leads to a lot of impurities, and it leads to a really bad Delta eight product. Well, we certainly none of None of us benefit by having that on the market. Right? Nobody, nobody wins by putting garbage out there on the market. It's just like you were saying about the Delta none. If you go into the legal states, you get really pure Marcos showed me pictures. He's giving it really pure crystal informs of Delta nuns beautiful. It's gorgeous stuff. That's something that everybody should be pushing for. Right? Some black tare stuff that some delta band, no, that has no air group that has no place in the market, and we need to control it.

Shayda Torabi  25:33  
Right? Well, that's we'll go for it. Marco,

Unknown Speaker  25:36  
I was gonna say one of the biggest things that I've noticed, and especially with people talking about full spectrum, and then you know, talking about isolates, one of the biggest things that you have to I guess, notice is the fact that you have what is considered a crude oil, which means the first pass oil, you ended up just extracting it right out of plant material. And it still has all those chlorophylls and all these other things present such as you know, just fatty waxes, and all these other things that are kind of present in the plant anyway. And I mean, this is part of where you get into the whole if you smoke flower material versus if you smoke concentrate, which one's better for you. Right. However, that being said, you have to definitely notice that with plant extracts, there are plenty of impurities, like Marcus saying, and one of those big impurities. I mean, this is this goes back to the synthetic, right, are solvents leftover in your processing, right. And a lot of people always ask, Oh, is that co2 extracted is that just kind of, you know, cold press, what are you doing in order to get to these means, and I mean, with Delta eight, and marks highlighting this, it can be done in bathtub chemistry, it can also be done in other means, which you know, doesn't necessarily involve a bunch of catalysts or solvents present so that you have to get to it in a pure form. The other thing is, you can always go back in and clean and extra. This happens all the time. I mean, this is how you get to isolates, you end up isolating the specific cannabinoids out of that extract, right? And then from there, you can get a crystal inform, or you can get just kind of your typical distort form, except if it's over a certain percentage, it technically is an isolate.

Shayda Torabi  27:04  
That was gonna be my question a little bit too, right? Like, using the current language that people are discussing around Delta eight, couldn't that same argument be made for an isolate? Like CBD isolate?

Unknown Speaker  27:17  
Yeah, definitely. I mean, CBD isolate, most people end up going through what's called spin bandha slitter. And so this is after they've extracted and then they go through fractional distillation more than likely to purify their CBD, they go through a spin band oscillator in order to get it cold, and make sure that it falls out in that crystalline form, it takes time for crystals to form, it doesn't just happen immediately.

Shayda Torabi  27:38  
Well, so going back to kind of Delta eight, knowing that we can kind of push it or pull it into a particular direction. You shared a little bit before we were recording, I'm just gonna like how you stumbled upon delta eight. But obviously it is present like it's a it's a process that is easily done, if you have some basic understanding of chemistry, like you already highlighted. I'm just curious to have you know, I think with Delta eight, there's so many interesting layers to the conversation, which is something that I'm really mindful of trying to address, right, depending if I'm talking to legal counsel, if I'm talking to a customer or if I'm talking to a vendor, right, making sure that I understand what I'm asking for when I am procuring these types of products. And I think that there's some understanding around what is delta eight, what is synthetic, but also how is delta eight created right? But then also what does the law say about delta eight? So from my understanding delta A that is derived from Delta nine is illegal. But if you derive it from CBD or hemp from that conversion side it's legal Can you kind of take that that messy analogy and clean it up a little bit for us?

Unknown Speaker  28:50  
Let's let's look at what the USDA Farm Bill actually says. And Marco, feel free to jump in here if you've ever

Unknown Speaker  28:57  
I was gonna say I've actually got HB 1325 pulled up since we are here in Texas and it directly copied the Farm Bill, I can go ahead and read what the definition of read the quote Yeah. So definition in this chapter, means the plant Cannabis sativa L and any part of that plant including the seeds of the plant and all derivatives extracts, cannabinoids isomers acid salts and salts of isomers whether growing or not with a Delta nine tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than point 3% on a dry weight basis.

Unknown Speaker  29:29  
Okay, so so this is really pretty straightforward. If you remember we talked about cannabis, Cannabis sativa is the same plant whether you grow it to produce marijuana or whether you grow it to produce hemp, it's the same plant. If your plant has less than point 3% Delta nine THC on a dry weight basis. It is hemp. Hemp is legal. If you have more than point 3% Delta nine on a graduate basis and we need to clarify this delta nine THC is defined as delta nine THC, plus THC. So you have to add those two, those two analytes together and that gets us a total delta nine THC. So if you're overpaying 3%, no matter what you do, you're illegal. Right? Again, you can do anything you want to with it. But you're if you're in an illegal state, you're illegal. If you're below point 3% delta then, as Marco read any derivative isomers read read that again, because it's really important.

Unknown Speaker  30:28  
Yes, so including the seeds of the plant and all derivatives, extracts cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts and salts have isomers whether growing or not.

Unknown Speaker  30:41  
So, so you are allowed by that, by that definition, you're allowed to do isomerization technically, you're allowed to do to make derivatives and what we would call analogs. As long as your delta nine THC stays below point 3%. Now, interestingly, there there was a few weeks ago, there was a temporary restraining order request in the state of Texas. And by the plaintiffs argued that the delta h should be removed from the Controlled Substances Act. We won't get into that argument but the state, the state made the statement. Nothing has changed. This is true, nothing has changed. There are no changes to the USDA Farm Bill. Texas is compliant through House Bill 1325. Texas is compliant with the USDA Farm Bill, as long as you stay below point 3% Delta nine and you're coming out of legal hemp and there's really emphasize that because you have to have the paperwork is as a manufacturer and you know, This show doesn't retailer, you have to have the paperwork to show where you got your products. Right. Okay, as long as you have that paperwork in place, and you can show that you're below point 3% Delta nine, your legal is a legal company.

Shayda Torabi  32:05  
Why do you think people are or maybe again, it seems like we're, I'm gonna say we as a collective because it's obviously so many different conversations have spurred just from Delta eight in general, kind of hitting the market over now what it's been almost two years, I feel like we've seen Delta eight kind of here in Texas at least. But it seems there's always an attack on it an attack on its credibility, its efficacy, the legality status of it, and kind of everything you're painting out, makes it obviously there's bad actors, for sure. But again, in any capacity, but the the intent and the purity of the Farm Bill, as well as Texas's interpretation and adoption of the Farm Bill into the hemp Bill House Bill, rather, from 2018 2019. It has allowed for these other cannabinoids as long as like you said less than point 3% Delta nine THC plus DHV is present. So why do you think people are coming after Delta eight and calling it a synthetic and a little bit too earlier, we were talking before we were recording about true synthetics, right, like k two and spice and things like that. And so I wanted to kind of, you know, dive into that aspect of maybe maybe that's the fear of people assume that delta eight is actually more like a k two spice and, and kind of, you know, what's that opinion?

Unknown Speaker  33:34  
So one of the things I'm gonna mention before Mark dives into this, because I know he's gonna have plenty to say, but one of the biggest things is obviously with delta A you hear about it's got a lot of things left over. And I mean, this is one of the biggest issues that I've run into in the industry in general happens to be understanding what a CEO a actually says. So for sure, learning how you pass on certain standards and whatnot. The thing is, with Delta eight, there are plenty of means for getting to it. I mean, we know of in our lab alone, probably about 12 to 20 different pathways for getting there. And it depends on what kind of pathway you're looking for there are means for getting there very, very synthetically where you don't even start with him. There are means for getting there from CBD isolate. And I know that there are means from actually just extracting biomass. But that being said, you talk about synthetic and Mark can take over from here, but you definitely bring up spice, which is an entire different series that doesn't necessarily can have notes,

Unknown Speaker  34:30  
right? So, so k two would what's known as spice are a whole series of compounds that were identified by a chemist by the mill Huffman and Hoffman I'm sorry, and and Dr. Hoffman created a whole series of compounds that had pharmacological effects similar to marijuana, and so they called them synthetic cannabinoids. DEA lists these compounds and schedule one substances and I complete agreement they're really dangerous. So just as a little public public safety message, a little PSA. Hey kids stay away from spice. It's really bad news. Okay, um, but uh, but they recognize that those big columns synthetic cannabinoids because they were called in the in the industry cannabinoids, even though they don't have the same structure as tetrahydrocannabinol and as a matter of fact, DEA recognizes that those are synthetic cannabinoids because they actually list in the same schedule a naturally occurring cannabinoid, which is a two 310 Right, which can be extracted from marijuana, they list that as a as a schedule one substance, alright, whereas they make the distinction, okay, two 310 can be extracted, they have to list it specifically. Therefore, they know that when they're talking about synthetic cannabinoids, they're not talking about cannabinoids, it can be found in the plant. This is the DEA CSA. Now, you know, everybody, CSA is different. Obviously, Texas has the right to publish their own Controlled Substances Act. The one thing that I will point out when we're talking about the legality of all of these things, is it HB 1325 specifically says that it has to be in compliance with the USDA Farm Bill. In other words, if there are changes to the USDA Farm Bill, HB 1325, requires that the SH s modify their their regulations and those regulations not rule HB 1325 is law. It is rule D sh s publishes regulations. The regulations must be modified to comply with changes made in the USDA Farm Bill that's part of HB 1325. Delta eight, Delta, it gets a bit of a bad name, I think, because I don't think anybody's intent was to legalize the THCs, I really got accidentally legalized in the USDA Farm Bill because, as with most things, people didn't consult with any chemists before they decided to put laws together. Then they didn't realize they had no recognition of the fact that you could actually make delta eight or any of the THC. It's from CBD. I don't think any of them had any clue. I believe that had USDA recognize that they would have never published the farm bill as it's published. But they did publish it the way it's published. It is law, the EPA does recognize that USDA has primacy or has control over him. And and they both USDA and the EPA publicly acknowledge that yes, you can get to the THC is legally from hemp, they acknowledges. So part of the problem I think you run into is that some of the Delta eight that's on the market is not legal. Right? Yes. Delta nine concentrations vastly in excess of 0.3%. The law enforcement knows this. They you know, they actually do employ chemists and they actually have pretty good ones. So law enforcement has a really good idea of what's legal and what's not. And I think some of the some of the fear is how do I know if my delta eight product is legal? It's not legal? That that's a really good? That's a really good question. I mean, that comes down to things that you and I and Marco have discussed previously about, how do we as an industry, police ourselves, how do we make sure that the lab results are valid? And we make sure that some labs not just login? That's right. These are these are things for different discussion. But but it's, it's it's a, it certainly is something that the end user has to take into account.

Shayda Torabi  38:48  
No, I completely, obviously agree to the extent that I always want to operate with the understanding that I can be wrong. Right. And also acknowledging that our industry while cannabis has historically been around for a long time, it's also obviously been really segregated for a long time. And I think now that it's coming out into the public's eyes, like you highlighted, especially in regards to the farm bill, they didn't know what they didn't know when they were writing it. And now that interpretation, by the industry has obviously gone rampant in some regards. And again, just to kind of point out for the listeners, my stance is not that delta eight is good or bad. It's ultimately that there has to be some better regulation for the industry, just like you highlighted mark in regards to better testing, better quality assurance, just education in general, self regulating and trying to educate them and pass on information on the consumer. So they are aware and I think that's what's just wound Meet up so tight around this, unfortunately, is just the, the bastardizing of this cannabinoid, which I think if it was presented in a different set up in a different market in a different scenario, better communication, different communication, maybe it wouldn't be so demonized. But obviously, you know, I can't help but observe what's happening, how legalization has been going at a federal level and at a state level, you know, I look at other states where they went medical, to wreck. And then of course, hemp legalized at a federal level, they have a much different market, of course, than we do from a health perspective. But also, from a Texas perspective, we don't have the best medical program, we definitely don't have recreation and you're seeing the hemp industry, really driving, obviously, the product is ation of these minor cannabinoids. And there's some research being done. Obviously, that shows the efficacy. There's obviously a lot of anecdotal research that's being done of all the people who over the past, you know, year and a half who've been consuming Delta eight, the actual adverse effects that have been documented are fairly relatively small, from my understanding. And so to me, this seems like people are blowing something out of proportion that should be better regulated. I don't think anybody here especially in our conversation is like, people should have delta eight but don't regulate it. It's like, No, I'm not saying don't make sure what you have is, you know, not including these residual products, these residual ingredients, or residual chemicals, or getting someone to go alter a test result just to make it in my favor. I genuinely want to put products on the shelves that I know are what they say they are, which is why I do the work to have these conversations, especially with you guys, but obviously with any of my partners and vendors. And I think that's where I'm just really frustrated from an industry perspective that people are taking advantage of this cannabinoid and really creating a lot of chaos instead of educating ourselves and ultimately educating the industry and becoming stronger because of it.

Unknown Speaker  42:07  
Well, one, claim Delta eight is a really remarkable compound. It's got various pharmacological effects that are not studied with Marco and I can tell you one, which we actually have documented, which is it causes reduction in your blood pressure, it's pretty significant. That that obviously is of great interest to to medicine. Okay. It clearly attacks, addresses and ameliorates pain. So we have 1000s of veterans who have gotten themselves off avoid opioids by using Delta eight for pain mediation, there there are beneficial things to the product. There are also people out here who add bleach to their Delta eight to they can make it go clear. That's just I'm sorry, that's unethical. In my opinion, that kind of product hitting the market is just completely unethical. Should we have cleaned Delta ate available? Absolutely. Is it legal? Absolutely. Is there crap on the market? Yeah. A lot of it? And how do you as a retail store distinguish between the good and the bad? It's hard. It really is. You have to, in some respects, have faith in your manufacturers. You have to you have to also trust that they want the same thing that you do, which is legal, clean, healthy products, right. And as you know, unfortunately, we know, that's just not the case for everybody in this industry. And I

Unknown Speaker  43:44  
mean, it sadly, is more common than not that you see people that have jumped in in the past. I mean, I'm gonna go ahead and say six months now, just because I mean, since I've been saying this, it's already been some time. But there's been a lot of people that jumped in this industry, because they saw that it was essentially the beginnings of a recreational style market for sure. All the chances that lots of profits. I mean, I can tell you, there is tons of companies, I mean, within just Texas that did it. But that being said, there's also your groups out there that are truly trying to actually use these products for beneficial uses, right? I mean, you've got people who are doing micro dose quantities, trying to figure out pain management solutions, you've also got people going up to hundreds of milligrams at a time, it just gets stupidly high, but it depends on what you're looking for. And I mean, it just Yeah, once again, like Mark said, you have to have some sort of faith in your manufacturers and you have to have faith that they know what they're doing. Because the other thing is in this industry, there is a lot of people that say they are GMP compliant or they are ISO compliant or this and that meanwhile, do you even know what that actually means? Or are they just telling you that?

Shayda Torabi  44:46  
I couldn't agree more. I think it definitely requires more understanding at an individual level who's operating the industry, right like I think part of the problem is these people saw an opportunity like you highlighted With anything with any new emerging market, there's obviously a huge rush to it. And with the understanding of some of the psychotropic effects of Delta eight, of course, it plays in a different realm compared to Delta nine. It's not as regulated from a checks and balances perspective, right, which I think that there's a lot of influence from that market into, I think, the negativity around Delta eight, because I don't think people know how to play with these two different markets where one is so restrictive, you can't cross state lines with the product, even if it's two states, neighboring are illegal, versus delta Eight. And now obviously, less than point 3%, Delta nine THC. by weight, you can ship those across state lines. And you have to hope that the people that are manufacturing those products and selling those products have care and concern, packaging, labeling, testing, all those different attributes to ultimately deliver. And I talk about this a lot. So obviously, I'm very passionate about it. But we're delivering consumer packaged goods emphasis on consumer, of course, I don't want my consumer to have a shitty product, have a bad effect, take too much and have an overdose. The whole point is to understand the options that are available from a legal perspective, understand the plant enough and the capabilities of the plant from an organic perspective of what's naturally occurring in the plant. And then the market, the industry is figuring out how do we bring those products to consumers. And there's so much to be done, when it comes to education and testing. We've obviously covered it extensively in our discussion. But I really did appreciate getting to have you guys on for this conversation. I know that there's not a, you know, punctuation that I think everybody can really, you know, kind of walk away from in the sense of is delta eight always synthetic or always not synthetic, because there's always going to be good and bad players out there. And so really, the importance of this conversation was just to shed a little bit of light from a language perspective on what it is we're talking about when we talk about delta eight being a synthetic. And so I really, again, appreciated y'all coming on and having this conversation and for all the conversations that we've privately had prior to this conversation, to just really truly helped me understand what it is that we are selling and what is happening to the industry that we are operating in. And ultimately to defend a plant that we all love very much I know has been really therapeutic for all of us in different capacities. Right. So kind of with that I wanted to just open up if there's any final things that we didn't discuss that you want to share, please let us know

Unknown Speaker  47:36  
that I think the one thing that I want to highlight and this is a really big one moving forward, because obviously this is going to affect the industry as we go forward with our next set of regulations coming from a federal standpoint. And I mean, in a year and a half year in Texas, a just point right. The wording choices need to really be understood before they are just mentioned. I mean, the word isomer as Mark was pointing out, CBD happens to be an isomer THC. So to CBC, by the way, because they both weigh that 314. Part of the issue is you know, the word isomer doesn't necessarily fit. When you talk about THC P or thc v, you actually need to talk about the word homologue there, and then THC o doesn't even fall into homolog definition that actually falls into analog like Mark Mark had mentioned, there is analogs. But that being said, you have to be very careful when you say that because there's also the issue with the analog rules when it comes to scheduled substances. And so you have to pay attention to what that warning is actually saying what it means. And so from a chemistry standpoint, you really do need to know what the definition is before just commenting

Shayda Torabi  48:40  
right here probably a whole other episode on all of the other th C's THC, p th, CO, etc, but couldn't agree more.

Unknown Speaker  48:50  
All right, I'm going to make one final statement regarding the synthetic and and now I'm speaking as a laboratory. So in the library I have, I have a very nice little laboratory, we're very well equipped to separate all of the THC isomers. And we really know what we're doing with it. We do a lot of process troubleshoot. If you were to bring me two samples of Delta ate one of them naturally derived and one of them synthetic, I could not tell the difference. I in my laboratory cannot tell the difference. And what I'm telling you is that with the exception of maybe five or six laboratories in United States, no one can. Okay, so it's not really feasible argument to say, Oh, but I know your delta eight is synthetic. No, no chemists chemically, we can't make that distinction. We don't know that. If you get the Delta eight clean enough. There's no way for me to tell how you made it. There's no way for anyone not just me for any chemist to tell how you made it if it's clean enough. So I think that that the synthetic loses some Some of its bite in this particular case, I think really what we're talking about is does it have less than point 3% Delta nine. That to me is the is the overarching requirement, as long as you stay in the legal bounds of the USDA Farm Bill requirements, your your hemp, and as long as you keep your paperwork in place, and you use good laboratories, and you sell good products that meet that definition, your legal where you get into trouble is when you get outside of those boundaries, you get too much Delta nine or you don't have any paperwork, then it becomes really questionable.

Shayda Torabi  50:40  
There's obviously a lot more to it. But I think this is a really good stick in the sand to kind of draw a line and hopefully the listeners feel just as empowered as I do to, you know, be a little bit more bold in pushing back on some of these terminologies that are being thrown at us. I often reflect being in this industry, you know, unfortunately, there aren't a ton of leaders, because it's so new, right? And so when you look at the history of cannabis, and especially you look at the adoption of it in our state here in Texas, at least, oftentimes I look around, and I'm like, Oh, who are we even listening to? Where did they come from? And where did they come up with that, you know, conclusion? I look at who they work for, what their ulterior motives are, what influence they have. And I think again, that those we just need to continue to be more critically addressing and assessing these conversations. So thanks for helping me unbox and unpack this one. And if anybody has any questions about anything, listeners, obviously don't know how to reach me through social media. But I will share my guest contact information in the show notes and encourage you to have a dialogue, you know, ask questions, again, like I kind of started this segment with, I want to not be wrong, but I want to explore multiple perspectives. I really want to be somebody who not only says that, but lives that and I think part of that is by having these conversations as bluntly as we possibly can so that we can strengthen ourselves and continue to elevate the industry instead of holding ourselves back. So thanks again, y'all. You

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