Canada: Safety Concerns Around Delta-8 THC Products

Written by Lydia Kariuki

Two leading cannabis wholesalers in Canada have raised concerns about the safety and legality of delta-8 THC (D8) products and have consequently suspended all D8 orders. The Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) and British Columbia Liquor Distribution Branch (BCLDB) have previously distributed D8 products to retailers, but not any more. 

The OCS is concerned about potential health risks around Delta-8, seeing that it is a new cannabinoid whose benefits and risks are yet to be established. The OCS has been monitoring the scene in the U.S where different states have put measures to either ban or regulate the sale of Delta-8 products. The Ontario wholesaler has stated that “products containing delta-8 THC fall outside the definition of THC under the federal Cannabis Act.” They have however acknowledged that they are not aware of any adverse reactions from Delta-8. In an email to licensed producers last week, chief operating officer of the OCS Denny Palarchio stated that naturally occurring D8 will not be affected by this new directive. 

Across in British Columbia, the Liquor Distribution Branch (BCLDB) has cited potential health risks linked to D8 and has consequently stopped replenishing new orders. BCLDB has promised to communicate the next steps it  will be taking soon. 

Delta 8 had a meteoric rise in 2020 and early 2021 when Google searches spiked by a staggering 850%. It has intoxicating properties similar to those of delta-9-THC. Its legality has however remained a controversial issue.

About the author

Lydia Kariuki