A Delta-8 THC product being bought by youth at convenience stores is concerning local drug prevention professionals.

That’s what the Warren Coalition presented during the Northern Shenandoah Valley Substance Abuse Coalition's regular meeting Thursday afternoon.

According to Christa Shifflett, executive director of the Warren Coalition, Delta 8 THC is similar to the Delta 9 form of THC typically found in marijuana.

THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive hallucinogenic chemical in marijuana that makes users “high.”

Delta 8 actually has minimal amounts of THC, compared to Delta 9, which is about 30 percent THC and found in current forms of marijuana.

But it can produce similar effects as the Delta 9, such as increased appetite and visual stimulation, although with less paranoia and anxiety.

The risk is that the Delta 8 products are made synthetically from CBD oil, as a result of putting it in either hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid or a gasoline-type product to separate it, Shifflett said.

CBD stands for cannabidiol, another marijuana-like product that contains trace  amounts of THC.

The worry is it is not known what its full effects are since it’s not approved by the Food and Drug Administration and little research is available, Shifflett said.

The Delta 8 chemical isn't illegal because it contains less than the .03 percent of the amount of THC legally allowed, Shifflett explained. But the Department of Justice is arguing that because it is a converted substance it should be illegal, Shifflett said.

The chemical can be recognized by drug tests, Shifflett said.

The meeting also discussed an upcoming International Overdose Awareness Day on Tuesday in Winchester, aiming to bring awareness to overdoses.

Lauren Cummings, executive director of the Northern Shenandoah Valley Substance Abuse Coalition, shared that as of Thursday there have been 23 fatal overdoses this year, down from 39 last year, as reported by the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug and Gang Task Force.

There have been 166 nonfatal overdoses this year, compared to 132 by the same time last year and 86 as of Aug. 25, 2019, Cummings also shared.

Contact Charles Paullin at cpaullin@nvdaily.com

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