What is Delta-8 THC?

Want to know, 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 delta-9 THC.

The compound can be derived from cannabis or hemp. 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 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 [1].

More 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 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.

Delta-8’s Effects

Users of Delta-8 products report effects like those of regular THC, such as happiness, euphoria, sleepiness, and relief, even though these effects are less pronounced than with Delta-9 THC. 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 is 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.

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Dosing Delta-8

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.

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 [2]. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/pharmacology-toxicology-and-pharmaceutical-science/delta8-tetrahydrocannabinol
  2. https://thehia.org/hia-position-statement-on-delta-8-and-hemp-cannabinoids/


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