Move over regular THC, Delta-8 THC may be an even better (and legal!) version of you.
Do you want to experience the head high associated with THC without feeling as much of the anxiety that can come with it? Do you want to enjoy the health benefits of THC without experiencing an overly intense head high? If this is the case, you may want to give Delta-8 THC a try.
Okay, now that all of that is out there, the question at the forefront of your mind is probably, “What is Delta-8 THC?” We’ll discuss it in more detail further on in the article, but to put it simply, it’s a cannabinoid derived from hemp plants that have many of the health benefits of regular (delta-9) THC without the anxiety and paranoia that it causes in some people.
Delta-9 THC is the standard THC that is found in marijuana and is responsible for causing you to feel high. Delta-8 THC is very similar to “regular” THC, but it has a few notable differences.
I’m sure you’ve got a lot of questions now. You’re probably wondering whether or not it’s legal, if you can pass a drug test after taking it, and how it makes you feel. To learn all of this and more, keep reading.
What is Delta-8 THC?
Delta-9 THC is the THC you’re likely familiar with. It’s the compound in marijuana that causes you to experience a head high. But did you know that there is another type of THC? Although many people have never heard of Delta-8 THC before, it’s one of the four most common cannabinoids.
Delta-8 THC is very similar in chemical structure to both Delta-9 THC and CBD. This makes it easy to be created from both (we’ll talk more about that later).
Although more research needs to be done before we have a better understanding of the cannabinoid, it’s believed that Delta-8 THC may cause you to experience a mental high without as much anxiety. Regular THC can cause some people to experience feelings of paranoia and anxiety, but it’s looking like this other form of THC may not produce as intense of a high. This could lead to less paranoia overall.
In this delta8-THC summary published by the National Library of Medicine, they state that “[Delta-8 THC] exhibits a lower psychotropic potency than delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9-THC), the primary form of THC found in cannabis.”
The benefit of this is that many people can experience the health benefits associated with THC with less of the negative side effects caused by the powerful head high.
Delta-8 THC is also often abbreviated as D8THC, D8 THC, D8-THC, Δ8THC, and Δ8.
Where does Delta-8 THC come from?
Even though Delta-8 THC does occur naturally in hemp plants, it is only available in small quantities (around 1%). Because there isn’t an abundance of the cannabinoid, it is actually created through a simple chemical reaction in labs.
This process of creating D8THC involves converting either CBD or Delta-9 THC into Delta-8 THC by putting it through a simple chemical reaction.
This reaction is very similar to the process that other cannabinoids go through naturally as the hemp plant matures. All kinds of cannabinoids change naturally over time thanks to heat, light, and other genetic factors. For example, another very popular cannabinoid called CBN is formed only when THC ages. CBN doesn’t even occur naturally in hemp - it’s just created from THC after it degrades.
You may be thinking, “Since it’s created in a lab, doesn’t that make Delta-8 THC illegal?” The answer is no. It isn’t a synthetic substance; it is a naturally occurring cannabinoid. Scientists simply cause THC or CBD to convert into Delta-8 THC at a faster rate for economic reasons.
The Difference Between Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC
The chemical structures of Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC are very similar, but there are notable differences between the two. A few of these key differences are stated nicely by US Patents:
- "Δ8-THC, for the most part, produces similar psychometric effects as does Δ9-THC, but is generally considered to be 50% less potent than Δ9-THC"
- [Δ8-THC] "has been shown in some cases to be 3-10 times less potent"
- "Δ8-THC has also been shown to be more (200%) effective an anti-emetic than Δ9-THC" (Note: an anti-emetic is a substance that helps to ease and control nausea and vomiting.)
Overall, many people state that although both of the forms of THC will cause you to get high, D8 THC produces a less potent high. Many claim that it doesn’t cause the same dizziness and sedative effects that can trigger anxiety, so it causes a smoother and less stressful experience.
The Difference Between Delta-8 THC and CBD
The biggest difference between CBD and Delta-8 THC is the fact that CBD does not cause any psychoactive effects. CBD (short for cannabidiol) is non-psychoactive, so it will not cause a body high or head high.
Delta-8 THC, on the other hand, does cause you to feel high. Although the high you feel is likely less intense than what you’d experience from taking regular THC (Delta-9 THC).
CBD is a much better option for those interested in the health benefits of cannabis who aren’t comfortable with getting stoned.
How does the Delta-8 THC high feel?
Many report that the high they experience from taking D8THC is much less intense than what they feel after using a marijuana product with regular THC.
Since Delta-8 THC does not have the same level of potency as Delta-9 THC, many people don’t experience the same feelings of paranoia and anxiety that regular THC products may induce.
However, it is important to note that everyone can react differently to different cannabinoids. The high that one person experiences from taking Delta-8 THC may be different from the high that another person experiences. In fact, some people don’t experience much of a “high” at all.
Because of this, it’s important to always start out with a small dose initially to gauge how your body responds.
When will I feel the Delta-8 high and how long will it last?
You may also be curious about how long the effects of Delta-8 last and how quickly they begin. Again, this varies from person to person and also depends on the method used to take the cannabinoid such as vaping, eating gummies, etc.
Many report experiencing the effects within about 30 minutes, and they often last up to around 12 hours.
Is Delta-8 THC legal?
As of October 2020, Delta-8 THC is legal in the United States. There has been a little bit of confusion over the matter thanks to a DEA Rule that was made effective August 21st, 2020. The rule was created to clarify language already included in the 2018 Farm Bill, but it caused some confusion in the cannabis industry.
Overall, in Section 12619(b) of the 2018 Farm Bill, it is stated that as long as the cannabinoid is derived from hemp, and there is no more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC, it’s legal. Delta-8 THC is not on the Controlled Substances List, so as of right now, it’s completely legal to use and sell it.
However, certain states may specifically address the legality of Delta-8 THC, so it’s important to be aware of the stance your state has. Also, keep in mind that laws regarding THC and other cannabinoids are changing all the time, so there is a chance that Delta-8 THC could be considered federally illegal in the future.
Because Delta-8 THC causes you to experience a high, there’s a chance that the United States government may change its stance on its legality later on. However, at the moment, it’s legal.
Will Delta-8 THC cause me to fail a drug test?
Unfortunately, yes. Delta-8 THC will cause you to fail a THC drug test. This is because Delta-9 THC and Delta-8 THC are so similar chemically, that the drug tests used today are not sophisticated enough to notice the difference. If you take a drug test after using a Delta-8 THC product, it will cause a positive THC result.
Delta-8 THC interacts with the ECS by binding to the CB1 receptor, just like Delta-9 THC does, but in a slightly different manner. This may be what causes a slightly “clearer” high.
As more research is done on this increasingly popular cannabinoid, we’re sure to discover more and more great therapeutic benefits.