Study: Delta-8 THC More Popular in States Without Legal Cannabis

A new study funded by the AMA shows that people in states where cannabis is illegal are more likely to use cannabinoids like delta-8 THC, suggesting prohibition may inadvertently encourage the use of these less regulated substance.

The University of Michigan, University at Buffalo, and Legacy Research Institute analyzed data from 1,169 adults, finding a 50% increase in CBD use since 2019, with 21% of Americans reporting use. The study found 25% of respondents used emerging cannabinoids in the past year, with higher delta-8 THC use in states without legal cannabis. Specifically, consumers who did not have access to legal cannabis in their state were twice as likely to have used delta-8 THC.

This supports the trend that legal access to regulated marijuana products decreases the use of unregulated cannabis, with researchers noting, “Higher delta-8-THC use in states without medical or adult-use cannabis laws suggests that cannabis prohibition may unintentionally promote delta-8-THC use.”

The study, partly funded by NIDA and NIH, calls for more research into these cannabinoids due to health concerns and lack of industry standards. Activists, operators, and scientists from the regulated cannabis industry have been calling for increased scrutiny and regulation of these products since they appeared

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