Have you heard of delta 8 THC? This natural cannabinoid only really hit the market a little over a year ago. Still, it’s already taking over the industry as the next big thing to come out of the hemp plant. Delta 8 is a lot more than a passing fad. How so, you might ask? Well, it offers properties and effects that are quite different from other cannabinoids in hemp, including its primary cannabinoid, CBD (Cannabidiol).
Delta 8 THC comes in all kinds of forms. Not only that, but it can be a nice addition to your daily routine as a hemp user. With that said, we will go over everything you need to know about this unique cannabinoid. This is to help you better understand what it’s capable of, how you can take it, and whether or not it is actually legal to consume where you live.
What is Delta-8 THC?
Delta-8 THC, also known as delta 8, delta8, or d8, is delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol, a cannabinoid that exists in the cannabis genus. The delta 8 on the market comes from the hemp plant, as opposed to the marijuana plant. As a cannabinoid, delta8 belongs to the same class of compounds as CBD. Meaning, it binds to cannabinoid receptors throughout the body via the endocannabinoid system to encourage homeostasis.
Delta 8 is a minor cannabinoid in hemp. While there can be up to 25% CBD in hemp’s chemical structure, delta-8 is found only in about 0.1% of the entire composition. It’s actually a degraded form of delta-9 THC. That means it has aged naturally in the plant material to take on new characteristics and transform molecularly.
Delta 9 THC is the dominant cannabinoid in the marijuana plant. That main reason alone is why marijuana is illegal while hemp is legal. When delta 9 starts to break down, it turns into one of two cannabinoids: delta 8 or CBN (cannabinol).
Will Delta-8 THC Get You High?
In short, yes, delta-8 will get you high. It’s a psychoactive compound, which is not surprising considering it comes from delta 9 (known intoxicating substance). But interestingly enough, due to its degraded nature, it is only about 70% as intoxicating as delta-9. It won’t get you as high then, due to being mild by comparison.
Furthermore, the high produced by delta-8 is different from that of delta-9. Users say that it has more of an effect on their mood than their consciousness, and that they feel less “out of it” when they use it. Add to that, delta 8 does not seem to be as potentially paranoia-inducing as delta 9, as we know that some people find that marijuana makes them feel uneasy.
The high produced by delta 8 is often referred to as uplifting and calming. This helps a person feel more at ease rather than like they are “on” something. Of course, everyone’s experience with hemp is unique, and so your precise experience after taking delta 8 can be different from someone else’s.
Is Delta-8 THC Legal?
The legal issue pertaining to delta-8, and hemp in general, is tricky and confusing. Cannabis laws in this country have changed dramatically over the last several years. Thus, naturally, some people are not sure as to whether or not delta 8 is legal.
In fact, delta-8 has been federally legal since 2018, when the Farm Bill was passed by the United States Congress, which determined that hemp is fully legal as long as it contains no more than 0.3% delta 9 THC. The law makes no distinction on delta 8 content, and further, the law clearly says that individual cannabinoids from hemp, excluding delta-9, are legal. Therefore, delta 8 is protected under federal law.
Some states have decided to adjust these laws as they see fit. A handful of states have banned delta-8 entirely, while others have banned hemp as a whole. In fact, some states have even banned specific types of delivery methods, such as vaping goods or flower. So, while delta 8 may be legal where you live, you need to make sure that the delivery method you’re eyeing is legal as well.
The states that have banned delta-8 are the following:
- Idaho (banned hemp entirely)
- Iowa (banned hemp entirely)
- Rhode Island
The other 39 states in America permit their residents to use delta 8.
Now, keep in mind that state laws can change over time, and with all of the attention hemp is getting, delta-8 laws may change at any moment. Therefore, before buying delta 8, it’s always good to make sure it is legal where you live, even if the law was in its favor just a few months ago.
How is Delta-8 THC Made?
As we said earlier, delta 8 is found in only about 0.1% of the hemp plant. If you’ve taken a CBD product made with full spectrum hemp, or consumed CBD flower, then you have already taken in the naturally occurring amount of delta 8.
Because it’s present in such trace levels, you will not feel its effects as the compound naturally exists in the plant structure. However, companies have managed to extract the compound by isolating it and concentrating it in order to produce delta 8 products. In other words, these products are formulated to have much higher levels of delta-8 than what naturally exists in hemp in its raw, natural state.
What Kinds of Delta-8 THC Products are Available?
Now, let’s go over the most popular delta-8 products that exist on the market. As you will see, the delivery methods are really not different from those which provide us with CBD.
- Vape Oils: Delta 8 vape oils are e-liquids used in vaporizer devices that offer fast-acting and potent effects. They exist in the forms of bottled e-liquids, pre-filled disposable cartridges, and all-in-one disposable vape pens.
- Flower: Delta 8 flower is simply raw CBD flower that has been infused with delta 8 THC. You can use it like any ordinary flower product, and both loose buds and pre-rolls are available.
- Edibles: Delta 8 edibles, such as gummy candies, allow the longest-lasting effects, and come in a wide variety of milligram strengths.
- Tinctures: Delta 8 tinctures are administered under the tongue to absorb through the sublingual tissue. These oils come in various flavors and strengths.
- Capsules: Delta 8 capsules are capsules filled with delta-8 extract and offer long-lasting effects similar edibles.
- Topicals: Delta 8 topicals are non-psychoactive, since the delta-8 stays local to the area of application, reaching the muscles and joints.
What are the Effects of Delta-8 THC?
Besides its psychoactive properties, delta-8 offers additional effects to the body that are worth exploring. Delta 8 binds to CB1 receptors in the nervous system to regulate certain bodily processes, which is how all cannabinoids are used in the body. Studies on the compound are still early because it’s a pretty new discovery. Hence, we don’t have access to as much research about this compound’s capabilities as we do CBD.
Studies so far seem to show evidence that delta-8 may provide anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, as well as anxiolytic activity, neuroprotective properties, appetite-stimulating effects, and may even offer effects on nausea. [Source]
How Often Can I Take Delta-8 THC?
Many people like to take delta 8 on a daily basis, because the cumulative effects of the cannabinoid allow it to be potentially more effective when administered consistently. Other people take it as desired. In short, you can take delta-8 daily if you’d like, as the cannabinoid is nontoxic to the body.
Note: If you do take delta-8, it is recommended not to drive or operate heavy machinery due to delta8’s psychoactive effects.
Can I Take Delta-8 if I Already Take Cannabidiol?
Yes, you can take delta-8 even if you’re already taking CBD. Some people have been concerned about some sort of interaction issue, but this actually isn’t a risk at all. These two cannabinoids work in a complementary fashion, existing alongside one another in the hemp plant.
CBD may actually balance out the properties of delta-8 to make the experience even more blissful. In fact, there are many products on the market that contain both cannabidiol and delta 8 extracts for this reason.
Final Delta-8 THC Thoughts
Delta-8 THC is more widely available than ever before, and in most states, the compound is perfectly legal. If you wish to explore the effects of delta 8, then consider the various delivery method options available and choose one that works for you. While delta 8 and CBD may share some things in common, delta8’s overall effects are unique, and many people enjoy them on a daily basis.