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What is Delta-8 THC?

jennifer williams cbd content writer
September 8, 2021
Evidence Based
This post has 4 references

Delta-8 (delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol) is a new popular cannabis compound similar to its delta-9 THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) counterpart that gets you high, happy, euphoric, relaxed, pain-free, and so much more.  

Delta-8 and delta-9 THC are similar in their chemical characteristics and their names. Both forms of THC bind to the body’s endocannabinoid system. In delta-9, the double covalent bond (that gets you “high”) lies in the ninth carbon. In delta-8, the double bond exists in the eighth carbon–hence, the numbers. The different double bond location on delta-8 explains why it is less potent. Delta-8 elicits very similar effects to delta-9 with less potency and less anxiety or paranoia.

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Delta-9 and delta-8 are both analogues of THC. Often, when THC is brought up in conversation, people are referring to delta-9 THC. (In this article, when we mention “THC” by itself, we are talking about delta-9 THC.)

The legality surrounding delta-8 thc can seem like a grey area. Delta-8 THC can be extracted from both hemp or cannabis, but according to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp can be cultivated and extracted all over the country. Thus, delta-8 coming from hemp is completely legal in states where delta-9 is not—for the most part.

Most of the delta-8 products currently on the market come from hemp-derived CBD, meaning they are manufactured in a federally legal chain.

People are now flocking to delta-8 products in states where delta-9 is illegal despite delta-8 being less potent than delta-9. To keep up with demand, many new hemp extractors are aggressively pushing delta-8 THC production to be shipped all over the country. 

Does Delta 8 Get Your High?

Delta-8 THC gets you high, but not as high as the delta-9 THC everyone is familiar with. Delta-8 provides an avenue to experience the medical benefits of cannabis.

While delta-8 is not as potent as delta-9, many people actually prefer the mellow and smooth high from delta-8. Delta-9 THC products can often cause paranoia and anxiety, but delta-8 foregoes these negative effects with a milder high.

Leafly’s Dante Jordan tried delta-8 THC and described it as a lighter, more energizing high than traditional delta-9 THC. “Yes, delta-8 definitely gets you high,” he wrote, “but it was a lighter high than I’m accustomed to from smoking joints, taking dabs, and eating regular edibles.”

Delta 8 Side Effects & Feeling

Consumers report that the delta-8 THC feeling can be described as mildly euphoric, uplifting, happy, and pain relieving. Many of them also stand by delta-8 for helping with insomnia. As for the side effects, delta-8 shares similar ones to THC: cottonmouth, red eyes, hunger, and short-term memory. 

How Much THC is in Delta 8 vs Delta 9?

For seasoned THC smokers, delta-8 may feel much less potent than the delta-9 they are used to. If you have not tried cannabis, delta-8 can have strong effects, depending on your body’s chemistry.

To put delta-8’s strength in perspective, delta-8 edibles are usually measured and dosed at more than twice the potency of delta-9 THC gummies:

  • Delta-9 gummies usually come in 10mg dosing, and people often take half a gummy or the full gummy for one serving
  • Delta-8 gummies are often dosed at 25mg

By looking at the standard dosages of delta-8 and delta-9 THC gummies, we can deduce that delta-8 is a little less than half as strong as THC. A 25mg delta-8 edible is comparable to 10mg of THC.

As with any THC product, your body’s chemistry along with your tolerance, setting, and dose may lead to different effects. It is advised to start with a little and then waiting for the effects. When you vaporize delta-8, the effects will manifest in a few minutes; with edibles, it may take anywhere from thirty minutes to two hours.

Delta-8 lies in a grey area when it comes to legality. Delta-8 is often extracted from hemp rather than cannabis, which makes it legal to be sold in states where cannabis is not allowed. Hemp refers to a cannabis plant containing less than 0.3% THC. Here, cannabis refers to cannabis plants with a higher THC concentration than 0.3%.

Delta-8 is considered legal in the United States due to the 2018 Farm Bill, which classifies hemp as “all derivates, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether grown or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent.” This means delta-8 is legal since it does not have delta-9 THC in it.

Despite the Farm Bill, some states have decided to outlaw delta-8. Extractors and retailers are only allowed to sell to states where the Farm Bill is observed. 

Can I get delta-8 in the mail?

Depending on the state you live in, you can receive delta-8 products in the mail. Be sure to ensure on the distributors’ sites to verify that it is legal to ship to your state before ordering delta-8 products.

Usually, distributors ship delta-8 to all states except these:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • New York (New York state has explicitly outlawed delta-8)
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah

How is Delta 8 Made?

Small amounts of delta-8 can be found in cannabis and hemp plants. And because hemp is legal to grow in the United States, delta-8 is usually sourced from that.

CBD is often extracted from hemp plants and distilled into an isolate. The isolate is then converted into delta-8 THC. As a result, more processing and money are required to produce delta-8 compared to CBD. The high demand for delta-8 accounts for this cost, though.

Is Delta 8 Safe? How to Find High Quality Delta-8 THC

It may be hard to find delta-8 products that are reliable and pure considering delta-8 is new to the cannabis industry. Make sure to check the distributors’ websites to read their information on where they source their products from. 

Many quality products have a QR code or verification number on their boxes that prove their ingredients and concentrations. It is advisable to stay away from products that do not offer lab tests. 

Delta-8 Super Store only carries brands and products with verified third-party lab tests and certificates of analysis. We offer the widest array of curated products, including edibles, tinctures, disposables, cartridges, and much more at the best price. 

jennifer williams cbd content writer

Jennifer Williams - Expert cannabis author

Jennifer Williams is a freelance writer from Vancouver, Canada specializing in CBD and delta 8 THC cannabis. She’s read thousands of studies on CBD and other supplements, helping her translate complex science into plain language. Jennifer has tried and reviewed dozens of CBD brands and products, written third-party testing reports, and knows the CBD and delta-8 THC industry inside and out. 

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