The Haymaker is Leafly Senior Editor Bruce Barcott’s opinion column about cannabis politics and culture.

Headlines alarmed the cannabis world last week when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a health alert about the risks of delta-8 THC, the hemp-derived cannabinoid that’s become all the rage in non-legal states.


CDC officials noted that US poison control centers recorded 119 cases of “delta-8 exposures” that resulted in hospitalization in just the first six months of 2021.

That’s troubling.

Leafly has reported extensively on the delta-8 phenomenon and on the many real risks that come from consuming an unregulated and often untested product. So I took a dive into the CDC’s data to see if the alarm matched the…

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