Why VCU scientists are studying products containing THC

'It can be really hard for the consumer to know what they're purchasing because some of these products look so official'
Posted at 6:20 PM, Mar 25, 2023

RICHMOND, Va. -- Inside a VCU lab, Associate Professor Michelle Peace and her doctoral candidates dedicate some of their research to learning what exactly is in products derived from hemp that like CBD and Delta 8.

They test items found in shops locally and nationally and products sent from people who have adverse reactions. The range includes anything from rubs, to Delta 8 gummies, Oreos, rice crispies and more.

Peace said it can be hard for the consumer to know what they are purchasing because some of these products look so official.

Through their research of these products, they are consistently finding the same issues.

“What you see on the label, isn’t always what's in the package," Peace explained. "It’s a lot more is actually in the product than what is on the label."

Right now in Virginia there is no state or government agency testing the majority of these products being sold. So Peace is calling on regulation to be brought into the industry. She said the current situation with unregulated products is a significant public health and public safety problem.

“This has to be quality tested. We have to make sure consumers are getting what they are getting what they are paying for,” she said.


Gov. Glenn Youngkin currently has bills on his desk that would bring more regulation to the industry.

The bills would require all businesses selling these products to have a state permit, THC would be limited to 0.3% per product or 2 milligrams and clear labeling with the amount of THC percent and milligrams per item along with the total within the package would be required.

But the proposed legislation is receiving some pushback and some are asking for an amendment regarding the THC-per-package limit.

Some are finding their CBD products used for treating medical issues like seizures or other quality of life considerations contain more than the .3% per bottle. That is even though each dose used is well below that limit.

Others in the hemp industry have concerns the legislation would effectively criminalize the plant and remove 99% of products from shelves. That includes ones that are rigorously tested and properly labeled by manufacturers.

Youngkin is left to weigh in all of this as he has days to decide if he will sign the bills, modify them or veto them.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email to send a tip.



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