HOUSTON - A legal marijuana derivative is flying off shelves in Texas and across the country.
It’s called Delta-8 and comes from the cannabis plant. Thus, it’s a relative of marijuana, aka Delta-9.
Fans say it feels similar to traditional pot but without some of the undesirable side effects like paranoia or anxiety.
"The high from Delta-8 is milder," explains Oz Millman, owner of Green Herbal Care in Austin. "Most people use it during the day."
Delta-8 is one of the hundreds of cannabinoids in cannabis. Cannabis has been so heavily restricted federally that little sturdy research exists on its impact in the human body.
Similar to the highly popular CBD, which also comes from cannabis, there’s concern Delta-8 is becoming popular too quickly while we know too little about its safety.
There are currently no age limits or manufacturing protocols. Some companies have been accused of aggressively marketing Delta-8 as a wellness product without providing buyers enough information on ingredients.
The therapeutic value of Delta-8 remains unverified by research or the FDA. This week, Texas lawmakers discussed Delta-8 in the Texas Senate Committee on Water, Agriculture, & Rural Affairs.
A speaker, whose company produces Delta-8 products for the sake of helping people wean off prescription medication, expressed concern that language in current marijuana-related Texas law needed to be better defined.
Lawmakers also addressed the ongoing lack of lab resources to test whether someone has Delta-8 or Delta-9 in their system. Delta-9 is the cannabinoid considered to "pot" in the traditional sense and is illegal.
Delta-8 is said to produce similar effects in users. Police currently have no way to immediately identify the difference should someone appear to be operating a vehicle while high.