A Significant Number of US 12th-Graders Report Using Delta-8 Products, Study Says, and It May Be a Public Health Concern

(CNN)High school seniors’use of delta-8, a cannabis compound that’s sometimes marketed as “light THC” or a legal alternative to weed, is “appreciable,” according to a new study, particularly in states that don’t have a legal weed option for adults.

Delta-8 THC, or delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol, is one of more than 100 chemical compounds found in thecannabis sativa plant. It’s an isomer or chemical cousin of sorts to delta-9 THC, the molecule that creates a high when someone ingests cannabis. Delta-9 is the most abundant form of THC in weed and is responsible for most of the psychoactive effects. Delta-8 acts on the brain the same way but is less potent and has fewer legal restrictions.

Unlike with weed, there are no age restrictions for buying delta-8 in most states where the product is legal. Based on findings in the study, published Tuesday in the journal JAMA, the authors argue that the number of teens who have reported using delta-8 may be a “potential public health concern.”

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