Delta-8 THC – Everything you need to know
Author: Joy Hughes
What if we told you there’s a form of THC that doesn’t give any of the “paranoid” feelings that come with regular weed?
And what if we told you it’s actually legal to buy right now, over the internet, in most US states?
Sound too good to be true? We thought so too, until we came across Delta-8 THC.
Now we know what you might be thinking:
What is Delta-8 THC?
Unlike Delta-9 THC, which is the most prominent cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant, Delta-8 THC is an incredibly rare and therapeutic cannabinoid.
In fact, in most cannabis flowers, Delta-8 THC only exists in low concentrated forms of 1% or less—which means extracting and purchasing this extraordinary cannabinoid is like hitting the jackpot.
Delta-8 THC Benefits
Contrary to what you might think, Delta-8 THC isn’t a newly discovered cannabinoid, and most of its research dates back as far as the 1970s.
In fact, according to multiple studies, Delta-8 THC is highly therapeutic and offers the human body tremendous value.
For example, in one study conducted in 1975, researchers noted that Delta-8 THC was highly effective in reducing the size of Lewis lung adenocarcinoma tumors in mice.
And in a 1995 study, scientists found that Delta-8 THC was 100% effective in reducing nausea in pediatric oncology patients undergoing intense chemotherapy, and these patients were between the ages of 3 and 13.
But that’s not all…
Research also shows that Delta-8 THC contains powerful anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. For example, when compared to morphine, Delta-8’s was much more effective in reducing pain in rats.
So, it seems this rare cannabinoid is actually cannabis’ best kept therapeutic secret.
But we get it… the name can throw you off. After all, how different can Delta-8 be from the widely known Delta-9 THC?
What’s the difference between Delta-8 THC vs. Delta-9 THC?
While it’s easy to assume that all THC is the same, Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC have some notable differences.
For starters, while we know that these two cannabinoids are produced in the cannabis plant (i.e., hemp and marijuana), Delta-9 THC occurs in much higher concentrations.
Conversely, Delta-8 THC only occurs in trace amounts (1% or less), as we mentioned earlier.
Secondly, from a chemical composition perspective, their main difference is that their double bonds are located in different areas:
- Delta-8 THC — double bond found in the 8th position
- Delta-9 THC — double bond found in the 9th position
Now we know the placement of their double bonds might not seem like a big deal, but believe it or not, it actually makes all the difference in how these two cannabinoids work within the human body.
This leads us to our third and final difference: Psychoactive effects.
The location of Delta-8’s double bonds makes it less psychoactive than its cousin, Delta-9 THC.
Yes, we said “psychoactive” and we understand if that sets off alarm bells in your head, so let us explain...
Given that Delta-9 THC is responsible for getting its users “high”, most people also report feeling panicky, anxious, and at times, paranoid.
But Delta-8 THC offers a less intense psychoactive effect.
In fact, according to the highly acclaimed National Cancer Institute, “This agent exhibits a lower psychotropic potency than delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9-THC), the primary form of THC found in cannabis.”
This means Delta-8 THC users feel more of a “body high” in addition to feeling a mental high.
Additionally, there have been reports that Delta-8 users feel less tense, calmer, and less paranoid and spaced out. And it’s all thanks to how Delta-8 THC affects our Endocannabinoid System (ECS).
Delta-8 THC Effects
As you may know, the ECS is a biological signaling system found within all mammals. It’s made up of receptor cells that are responsible for maintaining and balancing our overall health and wellness.
And according to research, Delta-8 THC actually binds to our CB1 receptors, which are located in our central nervous system.
In fact, did you know that our CB1 receptors help regulate some pretty important functions in our body? These include things like our:
- Perception of pain
- And other psychoactivity
This may explain why we feel better when Delta-8 THC enters into our system.
Now you might be wondering: Since Delta-8 THC is psychoactive, it can’t possibly be legal, right?
Well, it depends...
Delta-8 THC Legality
Since the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp has been effectively legalized at the federal level—thus removing it from the federal list of controlled substances and classifying it as an agricultural commodity.
This includes all of hemp’s derivatives:
- And other phytonutrients
The only hiccup is that hemp-derived products cannot contain more than 0.3% THC (that’s Delta-9 THC to be specific.).
This is why marijuana-derived products and cannabinoids extracted from marijuana (which contains more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC) are a huge no-no, when it comes to their legality under the Farm Bill.
So as long as Delta-8 THC is derived from hemp and contains no more than 0.3% of Delta-9 THC, then it’s perfectly legal right?
Yes… but there are some issues.
You see, the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is trying to dub Delta-8 as a synthetic derivative of Delta-9 THC. They stated, “The concentration of delta-9 THC is not a determining factor in whether the material is a controlled substance. All synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols remain Schedule 1 controlled substances."
However, according to research, “Synthetic cannabinoids are human-made mind-altering chemicals that are either sprayed on dried, shredded plant material so they can be smoked or sold as liquids to be vaporized and inhaled in e-cigarettes and other devices.”
So, as you can see by the above description, Delta-8 THC is not a synthetic cannabinoid. Rather it’s a naturally occurring one that’s been studied for decades, along with a number of other phytocannabinoids.
Related Article - Best Delta-8 THC Brands Reviewed
Delta-8 THC: The Bottom Line
Because Delta-8 THC is such a rare cannabinoid, cultivators have to wait longer and harvest more hemp plants in order to produce higher concentrates of this highly sought-after molecule. This may explain why it can be tough to find products infused with hemp-derived Delta-8 THC.
But like CBD, you want to be sure to only purchase high-quality Delta-8 THC products. And you can do so by steering clear from companies that don’t offer total transparency in their cultivating, formulating, and manufacturing processes. If you're looking for an easy way to get started, check out our list of the Top 5 Delta-8 THC Gummies.
Thankfully, Delta-8 THC is relatively safe to consume, but too much of anything can be harmful. And as luck would have it, no negative side effects have been reported to date. However, we still encourage you to use caution, and never assume that a cannabinoid like CBD or Delta-8 THC will help treat or cure unwanted symptoms or diseases.
While we know Delta-8 THC is psychoactive, its effects are mild, and in some cases, it can be more effective than Delta-9 THC.
Just be sure to consult with your doctor before you add any naturally occurring cannabinoid to your daily regimen, especially if you’re currently on any prescription medications.
Delta-8 THC FAQs
Unlike Delta-9 THC, which is the most prominent cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant, Delta-8 THC is an incredibly rare and therapeutic cannabinoid with several benefits.
Delta-8 THC offers several key benefits which include:
- Can help reduce pain and inflammation
- Reduced nausea and increased appetite
- Neuroprotective properties (help protect your brain)
- Help reduce anxiety
Yes, Delta-8 THC is a psychoactive substance and therefore it can get you high. But Delta-8 THC offers a less intense psychoactive effect when compared to Delta-9 THC. Many people describe the Delta-8 THC high as more of a body high. Delta-8 users feel less tense, calmer, and less paranoid and spaced out. This is a big plus for people hoping to get the medical benefits without feeling anxious or paranoid.
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp at the federal level which in return means that Delta-8 THC is legal since it is a derivative of hemp. But some states have taken action to ban Delta-8 at the state level. These states include: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, Rhode Island, and Utah. The legality of Delta-8 THC is a fluid situation so we recommend searching to see if it's legal in your state prior to purchasing.
Most drug test can not differentiate the difference between Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC and therefore it's very likely that Delta-8 will cause you to test positive for marijuana on a drug test.
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