Inverse Daily

Taming the Wild West of cannabis chemistry

Plus: Questioning masculinity can make you happier and smarter.

Green cannabis leaf on orange background. Medical marijuana.
Iuliia Bondar/Moment/Getty Images

While I wonder how exactly the Purge series of movies is going to end (read our review here), let me get you caught up on the latest science and innovation stories from Inverse. I’m Nick Lucchesi, editor-in-chief. Today’s lead story is all about the rise and fall of Delta-8 THC, which created a “Wild West” of DIY, unregulated, probably unsafe cannabis chemistry. Keep scrolling to read more. 👇

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This is an adapted version of the Inverse Daily newsletter for July 1, 2021. Subscribe for free and earn rewards for reading every day in your inbox.


Delta-8 THC: The rise and fall of a cannabis “Wild West” Delta-8 exploded in popularity in 2020, but much of what's on the market could be unregulated or unsafe, reports Emma Betuel in a new investigative feature story:

Delta-8 THC promises a “less anxiety-inducing” high than the THC found in weed, its users say. It also exists in an attractive legal gray area. Nationally, products containing Delta-9 THC (like marijuana) are Schedule I drugs, which means the Drug Enforcement Agency tightly regulates them. Delta-8 is legal on the federal level and can be sold in CBD shops, though some states are beginning to ban it.

But just as the legality is unclear, it is also not clear how safe all the Delta-8 on the market actually is. Keith Holecek, the managing director of data services at cannabis and hemp analysis firm New Leaf Data Services, tells Inverse that a lot of the Delta-8 on the market could be unregulated or even unsafe.

“There are definitely operations that cut corners and are producing junk. More than anyone would like to see,” Holecek says. “But with the FDA still in limbo on their rulings, it's the Wild West for Delta-8.”

Keep reading.

Go deeper:

Questioning masculinity can make you happier and smarter Hegemonic or traditional masculinity is harmful to men's mental health. Unlearning it can make men happier and more satisfied. Katie MacBride reports on this idea in her latest entry in the Detox series from Inverse:

Dan Cassino’s son’s favorite color used to be purple.

“He wanted purple cupcakes for his birthday,” Cassino tells Inverse. “Purple everything.”

But then one day, the 5-year-old came home from kindergarten and announced purple was no longer his favorite color. Jake, 6 years old and the biggest kid in the class, had told Cassino’s son “purple was a girl color.”

Cassino, a professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University, knew what he was hearing: the first shades of hegemonic masculinity.

Keep reading.

Go deeper:

Martin Zwick/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group/Collection Mix: Subjects/Getty Images

Fukushima's boar-pig hybrids reveal how nature can heal after humans Scientists report on the interbreeding of wild board and domestic pigs in Fukushima, showing how animals reclaim spaces following disasters. Tara Yarlagadda has the story:

On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake — the largest ever recorded in Japan — generated a tsunami that devastated the island nation. The tsunami also triggered an accident at a nuclear reactor in the Fukushima region of Japan, leading to the evacuation of 164,000 residents within a 20-kilometer radius of the reactor.

Among the evacuees were pig farmers who left their swine behind — fleeing from the threat of nuclear radiation.

According to research published Wednesday in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the absence of humans and the sudden release of pigs into the wild led to new boar-pig hybrids that are now reclaiming Fukushima — though researchers don’t know if these hybrids will last in the long run.

Read the full story.

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These 7 animals are the biggest jerks in the wild They ignore their partners, mooch off other species, and kill their young. But to survive in the wild, sometimes it's necessary. Jenn Walter has this list of hardcore creatures:

Survival is of utmost importance, and wild animals have to look out for themselves and their young first. But some species have more brash methods of survival than others. Here are the seven biggest jerks in the animal kingdom:

See the full gallery.

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Pentagon UFO Report is out. Here’s what happens next. The unidentified aerial phenomenon (UAP) report was short on answers but long on intrigue. However, we can make a good guess as to what will come next. John Wenz reports on what happens now.

The world held its breath for the first official government report on unidentified flying objects (UFOs) in nearly 50 years.

Last week, on June 25, we finally got that report. Or nine pages of it, at least.

The unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) report was short on answers but long on intrigue — at least as much as a government report written by a bureaucrat can get. To sum it up: 144 incidents, only one identified, and it was a balloon.

For a lot of people, nine pages and a classified report we can’t see aren’t enough.

But by collectively considering the few public statements, a few things we’ve been told, and a bit of speculation, we can make a pretty good guess as to what the U.S. government is planning next when it comes to this UFO report.

Read the full story.

Go deeper:

Diana, princess of Wales, greets the crowd in Lille on November 15, 1992. The late monarch was born on this day.

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