You may have had a friend tell you about it, seen it on the local news, or perhaps spotted it at your local CBD/smoke shop or maybe in gas stations. But you're still asking, "What is Delta 8 THC?"
Unfortunately, there's a lot of misunderstanding surrounding Delta-8, but fortunately, this blog post will help clear things up in plain, simple English. Here, we are going to cover the following:
Now let's begin.
Where does Delta-8 THC come from?
Before we discuss the molecule itself, we'll need to talk about where Delta-8 comes from—hemp.
Both hemp and marijuana are the same species—cannabis. All hemp is cannabis, and all marijuana is cannabis. Kind of like how all labradors are dogs, and all huskies are dogs. But not all cannabis plants are hemp, and not all of them marijuana.
The federal government first legalized hemp through the 2018 Farm Bill. According to Uncle Sam and many state governments, hemp is cannabis with a 0.3% or lower concentration of Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, and marijuana is cannabis with any concentration higher than this. This same principle applies to hemp-derived products (unless you live in one of the states that have banned certain hemp-derived cannabinoids).
Delta-8 does appear in small amounts in both hemp and marijuana. But the Delta-8 products you'll find on a store shelf or online will be derived from hemp.
The easiest way to explain where Delta-8 comes from is that a processor will derive cannabinoids (naturally occurring compounds in cannabis) from hemp, and from those cannabinoids, they derive Delta-8 THC.
"Hemp? But isn't that just a bunch of stalks people harvest for rope, clothes, and other items?"
Yes, in some cases. But the truth is that there are two main categories of hemp. There is industrial hemp, which is grown for its fibrous properties, and there is consumable hemp, which is finely cultivated for smell, flavor, taste, and cannabinoid content.
What is THC?
In the last section, we discussed how the concentration of Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) separates hemp from marijuana. But what is THC?
THC is a family of cannabinoids comprising carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. This group of cannabinoids is known for delivering "active" effects as opposed to cannabidiol (CBD), which offers more "passive" effects.
The various forms of THC can deliver "active" effects because of the way they bond to receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS). In short, the ECS is a network of chemical receptors and messengers that help govern:
- Emotional processing
When people mention "THC" alone, they usually refer to Delta-9 THC. However, since the emergence of the hemp industry, more and more variants of THC have become available for cannabis enthusiasts.
What is Delta-8 THC?
Simply put, Delta-8 is similar to Delta-9 THC but it has a chemical bond on its eighth carbon chain instead of it's ninth carbon chain. And that's pretty much all the biochemistry you need to know.
But in terms of legality, it gets more interesting.
Hemp-derived Delta-9 THC is legal, it's a thing, and it's been a thing. As long as it does not consist of more than 0.3% of the product's dry weight, you can buy it in most states, and it can be shipped across state lines. However, for this reason, you will only find hemp-derived Delta-9 THC products in edible form.
As of this writing, there is no concentration limit for Delta-8 THC on a federal level and in many states. This is why you can find 100mg Delta-8 gummies or even find the cannabinoid in tinctures, carts, disposables, and other mediums.
What are the effects of Delta-8 THC?
There are many different effects that people associate with consuming Delta-8 THC. Here are just a few of the most common ones:
- Sense of well-being
- Sense of wonder
"Wait a second, that kind of sounds like the effects of regular THC."
Yes, it does. Delta-8 and Delta-9 share many similar properties, but according to a study published in 2022, Delta-8 forms a "weaker" bond to receptors in the ECS compared to Delta-9 THC.
"So does that mean Delta-8 is milder?"
Well, it’s more complex than that. For example, a person may feel more pronounced effects consuming a 25mg hemp-derived Delta-9 gummy versus a 25mg Delta-8 gummy. However, a product containing a far more significant amount of Detla-8, such as 100mg per piece, will offer more prominent effects than the 25mg Delta-9 gummy.
So on a milligram-to-milligram basis, it may be true. However, a Delta-8 product can offer more acute effects than a Delta-9 product.
"So why try Delta-8?"
All forms of THC are nuanced in both their chemical structures and effects. Some people may find the impact of Delta-8 to better suit their needs than Delta-9. Others may find Delta-8 helpful for one facet of their life and prefer Delta-9 for others.
So, in short, it's just a "different spin" on Delta-9 that you may like or find better for specific purposes. But in the end, you'll only know if you try it for yourself.
What are the benefits of Delta-8 THC?
Unfortunately, we are not at liberty to discuss any potential medicinal benefits of Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol because the Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated these products. The best course of action before trying products containing Delta-8 is to consult your physician.
However, from an enthusiast's point of view, here are some great qualities Delta-8 can bring to the table.
As mentioned earlier, Delta-8 THC is available in more mediums than hemp-derived Delta-9 THC. So if you feel like you're in an "edible rut" with Delta-9, you can switch things up with tinctures, vape cartridges, capsules, flower, moonrocks, and other items.
As of this writing, this benefit applies to all hemp-derived cannabinoid products, including Delta-8 THC. But in short, federal legality allows for Delta-8 products to be shipped over state lines to your door directly and offers the option of paying with a credit or debit card.
Mixing Up Your Cannabis Routine
Sometimes mixing up mediums isn't enough. If you're constantly going with Delta-9 or even HHC, switching to Delta-8 for a bit (or vice versa) may help keep your experience "fresh."
Buying Delta-8 THC
Where can you find Delta-8 THC? Well...you're already in the right place, because we have plenty of premium hemp-derived cannabis products with Delta-8 on our online store.
However, no matter which Delta-8 product or brand you choose to buy from, make sure you check the product labeling for a QR code to a full-panel certificate of analysis (COA).
"What's a full-panel COA?"
Basically, it's a third-party lab report that not only reveals the cannabinoid content of the product but it also has results for any contaminants such as solvents, pesticides, and heavy metals.
This is probably the most important factor when purchasing Delta-8 products. And if you're curious to see a COA, we have full-panel COAs for every product we make and sell.
That just about wraps up everything you need to know about Delta-8 on a basic level. If you're new to cannabis, it's basically a hemp-derived cannabinoid that can offer relaxation, relief, and euphoria. And if you're well-versed enthusiast, it's pretty much just a different THC that may offer you a new and different experience.
And no matter where you purchase your Delta-8, just make sure that the product you buy has been tested for cannabinoid content and safety by checking if it has a COA.
Is there anything else you would like to know about Delta-8? Have any first-hand experiences with Delta-8 THC or great tips for other enthusiasts?
Let us know in the comment section below!
Plus, if you want to learn more about other hemp-derived cannabinoids, we have an article that covers the effects of HHC and the legality of hemp-derived Delta-9.
Until next time.