What is Delta-8 THC?

What is Delta-8 THC?

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You may have heard about it from a friend, seen it on the news, or spotted it at a local dispensary. But you're still asking, "What exactly is Delta-8 THC?" 

Unfortunately, there's a lot of misunderstanding surrounding Delta-8. Fortunately, we're here to help clear things up. From how it's made to how it will make you feel, this article will shed light on the true nature of Delta-8 THC.

Where Does Delta-8 THC Come From?

cannabis plants

Before we discuss the compound itself, we need to talk about where Delta-8 comes from—hemp

Hemp: Legality and Types

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. The reverse is not true, however. Not all dogs are labradors, nor are all dogs huskies. Similarly, not all cannabis plants are hemp, and not all of them are marijuana. What distinguishes hemp from marijuana, you may ask?

The federal government answered this question through the 2018 Farm Bill. This document legalized hemp and its derivatives on a federal level, with many state governments following suit. According to the 2018 Farm Bill, 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). THC edibles, capsules, and tinctures, for example, are legal if they are made with hemp-derived cannabinoids and contain a 0.3% concentration or lower of Delta-9 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. 

industrial hemp

How Delta-8 Is Derived From Hemp

You will often hear Delta-8 described as a "synthetic compound." This does not mean Delta-8 is unnatural, but rather that it is synthesized from another natural compound.

The reason for this is that Delta-8 is a minor cannabinoid, which means it naturally occurs in small amounts in both hemp and marijuana- Of course, the Delta-8 products you'll find on a store shelf or online will be derived from hemp. 

Because cannabis plants contain such small amounts of Delta-8, other methods of extraction are necessary to make Delta-8 products. A processor will first extract more abundant cannabinoids like CBD from hemp, and from those natural cannabinoids, they will synthesize Delta-8 THC. 

What is THC?

Scientist with THC tincture

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 offer 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 vital processes, including: 
  • Sleep
  • Memory
  • Emotional processing
  • Temperature
  • Appetite 

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 been discovered and made available for enjoyment. 

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 its 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 i in tinctures, carts, disposables, and other mediums. 

What are the effects of Delta-8 THC?

young black woman relaxed yet uplifted

There are many different effects that people associate with consuming Delta-8 THC. Here are just a few of the most common ones: 
  • Relaxation
  • Euphoria
  • Relief 
  • Munchies
  • 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 that Delta-8 is milder. However, a Delta-8 product can offer more acute effects than a Delta-9 product if it has more THC content overall. 

"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:

More Mediums

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 Delta-8 tincturesDelta-8 disposable vapesDelta-8 capsulesDelta-8 flower, and other items. 

Federal Legality

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

young asian woman shopping online

Where can you find Delta-8 THC? Well...you're already in the right place because we offer plenty of premium hemp-derived cannabis products with Delta-8 THC in 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. 

Rest assured that all of our Delta-8 products are certified by the DEA and undergo full-panel, third-party lab testing for quality and safety. This means that our hemp extraction methods meet the highest industry standards. We proudly offer Certificates of Analysis for every product.

Conclusion

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 a 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.

Until next time.

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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