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What is Delta-8 Flower?

What is Delta-8 Flower?

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The popularity of Delta-8 THC is increasing across the country due to its unique effects and legality. However, the availability of products containing Delta-8 THC is still limited. Consumers are particularly interested in purchasing Delta-8 flower, but unfortunately, it is currently challenging to find in the market.

In this article, we will discuss why Delta-8 THC is hard to find in smokeable flower form, and what factors prevent it from being more accessible. To understand this, however, you must first know how what Delta-8 is and how it's made.

What is Delta-8 THC

cannabis researcher holding a flower bud

Delta-8 THC is a compound that is found naturally in the cannabis plant, which includes hemp and marijuana. 

This little molecule has a similar chemical structure to that of Delta-9 THC, the primary psychoactive component of cannabis, but it yields milder, yet euphoric, effects. The reason for Delta-8's less potent effects is its weaker binding affinity to the body's CB1 receptors.

Delta-8 Effects & The Endocannabinoid System

CB1 and CB2 receptors are located throughout the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a vital network in the human body that regulates various functions, including sleep, pain perception, sleep, and hunger. The interaction is like a lock and key system. CB1 receptors (located primarily in the central nervous system) and CB2 receptors are "triggered" by various chemical messengers.

These could be endocannabinoids, like anandamide, which are naturally produced in the human body, or phytocannabinoids, which come from plants- like cannabis- and enter your body when you consume the said plant. When phytocannabinoids like Delta-9 or Delta-8 THC interact with these receptors, the main result is a euphoria that is either very intense or very mild, depending on the binding affinity of the compound.

As mentioned, Delta-8's bind is weaker, but it's still THC. Although it will affect everyone differently, enthusiasts claim that it tends to result in a lighter, yet relaxing, mind and body experience.

Legality: Hemp vs. Marijuana

The 2018 Farm Bill defines hemp as cannabis with less than a 0.3% concentration of Delta-9 THC.

Cannabis that exceeds this concentration of Delta-9 THC is defined as marijuana

All cannabinoids derived from hemp, including CBD, CBG, HHC, Delta-8 THC, and even Delta-9 THC within the 0.3% concentration limit are legal on a federal level

How Delta-8 THC Is Made

Delta-8 THC occurs naturally but in insignificant amounts. In other words, cannabis has pretty low levels of Delta-8 THC.

While hemp breeders and cannabis researchers are seeking ways to increase Delta-8 THC’s concentration in plants naturally, there is no way to do this yet. To get Delta-8 THC in useful concentrations (enough to make Delta-8 flower, Delta-8 Gummies, and other Delta-8 products), plant material is put through a process that extracts and concentrates Delta-8 THC. This usually involves taking natural CBD or Delta-9 and converting it to Delta-8 through a process known as isomerization or cyclization, respectively. 

Once Delta-8 THC has been extracted, its pure form is a clear sticky liquid. This Delta-8 concentrate can then be infused into products for consumption. For example, Delta-8 Tinctures and Delta-8 Capsules contain concentrated Delta-8 THC that has been mixed with other solutions (organic MCT oil in these cases) to make for an enjoyable experience. Pure Delta-8 THC concentrate (also called distillate) is typically sold in syringes because of its viscosity.

What is Delta-8 THC Flower

Because hemp cannot be grown with high enough concentrations of Delta-8 THC to harvest "Delta-8 flower," it's made by adding Delta-8 THC concentrate to hemp flower.

This does create problems for many people who make Delta-8 flower, however. Pure Delta-8 THC is a sticky liquid that never solidifies. When added to hemp flower, it creates a soggy, sticky mess that is hard to consume (or even get out of the bag).

Delta-8 THC Concentration in Flower

The amount of Delta-8 THC used to make flower can vary depending on how much is added. Some producers only lightly spray their flower with Delta-8 distillate while others dip the whole bud. This creates wildly different results in texture, consistency, and potency. When flower has a very high concentration of THC per gram, this usually means the flower will be soggy but potent. When a mild spay is used, the flower retains more of its original characteristics but less Delta-8.

Delta-8 flower that is between 150mg and 250 mg is a great sweet spot, so your Delta-8 flower has the perfect balance between potency and consistency.

Final Thoughts

Delta-8 THC is a naturally occurring compound in cannabis. It has a weaker binding affinity to the body's ECS receptors than Delta-9 THC, resulting in less intense effects. Delta-8 flower is made by covering hemp flower with Delta-8 distillate. 

The 2019 Farm Bill made all cannabinoids, including Delta-8, derived from hemp federally legal. However, check with your state laws before purchasing Delta-8 products.

FDA Disclaimer: The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from health care practitioners. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requires this notice.

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