What is Delta-8 THC?
Of all the compounds found in cannabis plants, THC is one of the most well-known. Delta-8 THC has become quite popular because it is much like Delta-9 THC, a cannabinoid that’s known for its relaxing and euphoric effects.
The similarities between these compounds lie in their names and chemical structures, but there’s one area where they differ: Delta-8 THC’s effects are less potent than those of the main psychoactive compound, Delta-9 THC.
Delta-8 THC can be derived from cannabis or hemp because it is naturally occurring on the cannabis plant. Because of the Farm Bills (see below), it’s legal to grow and refine hemp anywhere in the United States, which makes Delta-8 legal in some places where Delta-9 THC is disallowed. Here, you’ll learn more about this exciting THC variant.
What’s the Difference Between Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC?
Much like Delta-9 (regular) THC, Delta-8 binds to receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system, producing a euphoric high. Delta-8 and Delta-9 are chemically similar in that their structures include double bonds.
The two types of THC are different in terms of where those double bonds are placed. Both compounds consist of a carbon atom chain. However, Delta-8’s double bond is on the eighth carbon atom, while Delta-9’s is on the ninth atom. Delta-8 THC works a bit differently because of its double bond’s location, which is why it’s less potent than regular THC .
More cannabis research is needed to see how Delta-8 interacts with the body.
Does Delta-8 Create a Euphoric High?
While its effects are less than those of THC, Delta-8 will still get you high. For those in areas with no recreational cannabis or medicinal cannabis laws, Delta-8 may be a safer way to experience some of the beneficial effects of THC.
Some cannabis consumers prefer products that aren’t as strong as regular THC, even if they can legally and safely obtain stronger varieties. THC causes negative effects in some users, such as paranoia and anxiety. For these users, Delta-8 THC may offer a milder, smoother high.
Users of Delta-8 products report effects like those of regular THC, such as happiness, euphoria, sleepiness, and pain relief, even though these effects are less pronounced than with Delta-9 THC. Like Delta-9 THC, the component responsible for these side affects is the Delta-8 THC’s ability to interact with our Endocannabinoid System.
Side effects are similar, including red eyes, dry mouth, anxiety, increased appetite, and diminished short-term memory. It’s important to consider that delta-8 has not been studied at length, and additional research and clinical trials are needed to determine its effects on the body and mind.
CBD vs. Delta-8
Delta-8 THC is more like Delta-9 than CBD, both in its properties and its structure. Delta-8 binds to endocannabinoid receptors much like its more intoxicating counterpart. CBD doesn’t bind to these receptors as readily, which means it won’t get you high. However, it offers many other benefits.
If you want THC’s effects, albeit at a lower level, Delta-8 may be right for you. If you want relief from troubling symptoms without the high of THC, consider trying a CBD product.
For most users, especially those with significant experience, Delta-8 will feel weaker than conventional THC. If you’re a new consumer, Delta-8’s effects may be stronger than that for others—it all depends on body chemistry.
As with other cannabis products, it’s best to start with a small dose and wait for the effects to appear before consuming more. The method of ingestion will partly determine how long you’ll wait to feel the effects.
For instance, if you vape a Delta-8 product, you’ll probably feel it within ten minutes; with edibles, consider waiting up to two hours. This time period can help with limiting the possibility of taking too much and causing adverse events.
The Legality of Delta-8 THC
For many years in the U.S., cannabis was illegal, according to federal law, whether or not it contained THC, its main psychoactive chemical that occurs naturally in the plant. In the 2010s, the United States Congress enacted two groundbreaking pieces of legislation, called “Agricultural Acts” and commonly known as the Farm Bills.
The 2014 Farm Bill removed hemp from the list of Schedule 1 substances, and was the seed of hemp’s recent resurgence. The Bill allowed long-forbidden production and research into hemp-derived cannabinoids to begin in earnest.
The 2018 Farm Bill expanded on this, allowing people to produce, sell, and consume hemp-derived products, making it clear to legal experts that all other plant materials and substances derived from legally-defined hemp are also federally-compliant .
The federal farm bill legislation defines cannabis with less than .3% of Delta-9 THC per dry weight as hemp and allows it in all 50 states. Cannabis with more than .3% Delta-9 THC per dry weight is defined as marijuana and federal law still treats it as a controlled substance on the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Schedule 1 list.
This is despite the fact that many states allow medical use or adult recreational use of cannabis with more than .3% Delta-9 THC.
The Farm Bill defines hemp as:
Hemp.–The term `hemp’ means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.
All THC isomers in Earthy Select products are made exclusively from organically-grown, federally-compliant, third-party tested hemp.
Most states passed similar laws in the year or years following the Farm Bill’s enactment. Most of these adopted the same definition of hemp, and legalized hemp and hemp-derived products. Although legal, hemp products are still not on the list of FDA regulated products although federal and state partners are actively working on finding parameters to regulate these substances and working toward halting businesses from selling unapproved products that may be harmful to consumers.
Is it Legal to Buy Delta-8 Online?
You can legally buy federally-compliant Delta-8 and receive it through the mail. Depending on where you live, be sure to check your state’s laws before purchasing products containing Delta-8 THC. Be aware that Delta 8 THC that is purchased online may or may not have a Certificate of Analysis with it, so it’s important to see these test results before buying Delta 8 THC sold online.
How Delta-8 THC is Made
Delta-8 THC is found in small amounts in hemp and cannabis plants, and because it’s legal to grow hemp in the US, this cannabinoid is often sourced from it. CBD is typically derived from hemp and refined into isolates, which are then turned into Delta-8. Therefore, Delta-8 requires additional processing at a higher cost, but the outcome is worth it!
Finding Safe, High-Quality Delta-8
Because the market for Delta-8 THC is relatively new, many users are struggling to find high-quality products that live up to their claims. When looking for products containing Delta-8 and other beneficial cannabinoids such as CBD, look for a company’s certificate of analysis (COA) to be sure it is what it says it is.
Emerging cannabis derived products are constantly changing. Unfortunately, the popularity of Delta 8 THC has had mixed reviews in the public health space due to safety concerns, low quality products sold in gas stations and convenience stores, concerns related with dosing and adverse events related to mislead consumers, and poor production standards in uncontrolled or unsanitary settings.
Nation’s poison control centers have warned of serious health risks and posed significant pubic health concerns around Delta 8 THC and other potentially harmful substances made from hemp cannabis raw extracts. Because of this, we warn consumers about deceptive marketing, unsafe contaminants, Delta 8 THC made from inorganic starting raw material, and unsubstantiated therapeutic claims that some products and companies are pushing to their customers. The hemp industry is evolving everyday, and it’s important to spotlight companies that may expose consumers to potentially harmful chemicals and potentially harmful substances.
These companies are bad actors wanting to make a quick profit. These products can contain potentially harmful by products and pose significant public health concerns. The chemical synthesis process in which Delta-8 THC is produced is typically manufactured in a sterile lab setting, but media reports have shown that companies who are cutting corners may have potentially unsafe household chemicals in their Delta 8 THC.
These can cause adverse event reports that have been reported by the national poison control centers. This is why it’s extremely important to buy your Delta-8 THC from a trusted and reliable company like Earthy.
Here at Earthy, we strive to source and create the cleanest, Delta 8 THC products that are backed by third party testing and safe for consumption. Whenever you are consuming a psychoactive substance, it’s important to know the psychoactive and intoxicating effects that go along with them.
All of our products have visible and easy to access third party testing to help you ensure that no excess chemicals or substances are in our products. It’s very important to have a clear Certificate of Analysis for any cannabis products you are consuming, and companies that hide these or make them vague is a huge red flag for the consumer.
Therapeutic or medical uses for Delta 8 THC are still being researched, but anecdotal evidence has shown that Delta 8 THC is being used for many of the same reasons Delta 9 THC products are used.
Disclaimer – Information is provided for educational purposes. It does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice or medical advice. We attempt to be accurate and up to date but the legality of cannabinoids and the science of cannabis is evolving.
The author is neither a lawyer or a legal expert, nor a doctor or medical expert. You should check with your local authorities and medical providers before buying or using any products.
- Science Direct: Pharmacology Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science: Delta 8
- HIA Position Statement on Delta 8 and Hemp Cannabinoids
Frequently Asked Questions
Will CBD Show Up On A Drug Test?
There is a risk of failing a drug test. It depends on the type of CBD product one is using.
Drug tests for marijuana generally identify THC or its metabolites. Although tests do not screen for CBD, full spectrum CBD products contain low quantities of THC that can make a person fail a drug test. If you anticipate taking a drug test, we suggest checking with your employer or test administrator for clarity prior to taking full spectrum CBD products.
Is It Illegal To Send CBD Products In The Mail?
Yes, but even though these products are federally-compliant, individual states may have their own regulations about purchasing or using hemp-based products, and these are subject to change. You should check your state and local rules before ordering. We ship nationwide.
What Does "Hemp-Derived" Mean?
Hemp-derived means made from hemp, sometimes also referred to as industrial hemp. The 2018 Farm Bill (see next section) established new federal legal definitions and rules for hemp, including that hemp and “and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis” may be used for production, sales, transport, and use.