Delta 8 THC has quickly become one of the most prevalent cannabinoids in the cannabis market.
But with fewer regulations than marijuana, there have been many worries and safety concerns regarding delta 8 THC and other cannabinoids.
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In this article, we’re going to take a dive into the safety of delta-8, synthetic cannabinoids, and more.
Delta 8 THC is one of the many cannabinoids that occur naturally in trace amounts in cannabis plants and hemp plants.
Delta 8 THC is slightly different from delta 9 THC—the main psychoactive cannabinoid in the cannabis plant—in its chemical structure.
In delta 8 THC, the double bond on the carbon chain occurs on the 8th carbon, whereas the double bond occurs on the 9th carbon in the carbon chain.
This is why they’re called delta-8 THC and delta-9 THC. The result of this molecular difference can be found in the intoxicating effects of delta 8 THC. We’ll discuss this later in this article.
Like many cannabis products, hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) products, and other cannabinoids, no one can say for certain that delta 8 THC is completely safe.
On top of that, there isn’t enough historical data or research to know whether marijuana-derived cannabinoids have negative long-term effects.
To determine the safety of delta-8 THC, we can look at its close relative, delta 9 THC, since it has the most data.
Delta 9 THC has been found to be relatively safe, but this depends on the person.
Marijuana can worsen schizophrenic symptoms in people who have a predisposition for schizophrenia.
Also, depending on your consumption method, marijuana can be bad for your lungs (if you smoke too much).
Another safety concern surrounding marijuana, delta-8 THC, and delta 9 THC is that there might be other chemicals included in products due to negligent processes when making lab-produced cannabinoids.
Like delta 9 THC, delta 8 THC will get you high. Because of its slightly different chemical structure (double bond position), though, its effects are milder than those of delta 9 THC.
The pain-relieving, stress-relieving, relaxing, hunger-inducing, euphoric, psychoactive effects of delta 9 THC are all present in delta 8-THC toned down. That’s why most users call it “diet weed.”
Delta 8 THC won’t give you auditory and visual hallucinations, but it can still produce psychoactive effects if you take a massive amount (unlike CBD).
Delta 8 feels like a warm hug, but unlike delta 9 THC, you’re not getting the intense anxious or paranoid effects.
Delta 8 THC doesn’t bind as effectively or strongly to the body’s endocannabinoid system, so it won’t be as strong as delta-9 THC, but it still has higher mood-altering properties than a milder cannabinoid like delta 10.
Since delta 8 THC is still a THC molecule, it binds to the cannabinoid receptors in your body’s endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system is responsible for regulating many processes in the body.
This is why delta 8 THC can be used for pain relief or other possible medical benefits. It also releases dopamine in your brain.
While THC is not highly addictive, it can have ill effects on the human body if you take a significant quantity of it every day.
Taking too much can also cause intense psychoactive effects, which may be detrimental to your mental health.
The same cannot be said for synthetic cannabinoids. Synthetic cannabinoids open up a whole new world of possibilities, and perhaps not in the best way.
Synthetic cannabinoids are completely made in a lab instead of using naturally occurring chemical compounds (for example, those found in hemp plants or cannabis plants).
Manufacturers choose several different methods of producing delta 8 THC, but one of the most popular ways is by using plant material to extract CBD molecules (which exist naturally in hemp plants). The CBD extracted is then converted to delta-8 THC.
Another method is to extract the delta 8 THC straight from the hemp plants, but this method is more expensive because delta 8 THC only occurs naturally in trace amounts in hemp flower (hemp is cannabis that contains less than 0.3% delta-9 THC on a dry weight basis).
The final product is fully natural delta 8 THC. Not many manufacturers use this method.
The other method is to create purely synthetic cannabinoids in a lab. By doing this, there are virtually no natural hemp-derived products involved.
The final products can be completely synthetic. The synthetic compound that is produced can be dangerous because there may be toxic by-products.
There may also be harmful additives left over from the process if the manufacturer doesn’t do a meticulous job.
Synthetic products have also been known to cause adverse events (think about the spice epidemic).
The question of “is delta 8 synthetic” mainly depends on who you’re buying from. As we mentioned above, there are several ways to produce delta-8 THC.
It is important to do some research on whether you’re buying a natural cannabis compound or a synthetic cannabinoid product.
A synthetic cannabinoid product is much more dangerous than its natural alternatives, so we advise you to stay away from them.
A synthetic cannabinoid opens up a whole new world of risk that you don’t want to be exposed to.
There are several ways to ensure you are buying safer delta 8 THC. Every delta 8 THC product should have a lab report that is easily accessible by scanning a QR code on the product packaging.
Furthermore, great delta 8 THC brands should have a Chain of Custody, which allows customers to follow the delta 8 THC from hemp to the final product (assuming it’s natural and not synthetic).
Lab tests and other reports are important because it will make sure you’re not putting heavy metals or other harmful chemicals in your body.
We recommend sticking with natural, regular THC products rather than using synthetic cannabinoids.
Delta-8 THC, like other hemp and CBD products, is legal at the federal level due to the 2018 Farm Bill.
The Farm Bill allows for the cultivation, extraction, and production of hemp products, so delta 8 THC and other natural hemp-derived products are covered.
Even non-classical cannabinoids and other natural phytocannabinoids are covered.
This is where it gets a little grey, though. Are synthetic cannabinoids legal? One may argue that since natural delta 8 THC is legal, synthetic delta 8 THC is also legal.
Others may argue that it’s not natural and that synthetic products aren’t legal.
While delta 8 THC is legal at the federal level, states also have the power to decide whether it’s legal.
If you’re looking for delta 8 THC products in your area, it’s important to see if your state’s legislation has banned it or not.
Both marijuana and delta 9 THC (above 0.3%) remain federally illegal.
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Hopefully, you now know enough about delta 8 THC and other cannabinoids out there. You also know to stay away from a synthetic product, even if it’s delta 8.
Now that you know the answer to “is delta 8 synthetic” and more, go out there and have fun, stay safe, and stay elevated.
Jennifer Williams - Expert cannabis author
PRODUCTS ON THIS SITE CONTAIN A VALUE OF 0.3% OR LESS Δ9-THC (OR NO MORE THAN 0.3% Δ9-THC).
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