All About Delta-8 THC
Delta-8 THC, like CBD, is only one of over 113 different cannabinoids that make up the cannabis plant. A cannabinoid is a molecule that plays an active role in the plant’s chemistry and effects. Cannabis refers to both hemp and marijuana and Delta-8 THC can come from either. The legal difference between hemp and marijuana is the amount of Delta-9 THC (see below for an explanation of the differences between Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC). Hemp must contain less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC, as stated in the Farm BIll (2018). All Delta-8 THC products, like CBD products, come from the hemp plant.
While similar, Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC are not the same. Delta-9 THC (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol) is the cannabinoid that famously produces the feeling of being “high”. In chemistry terms, the delta (Δ) in the name refers to a double bond in the molecule. The number following delta (8, 9, or 10) refers to the location of the double bond within the molecule. So Delta-8 THC has a double bond in a different position than Delta-9 THC and Delta-10 THC. This causes the effects of Delta-8 THC to differ slightly from Delta-9 and 10. The next section will go into further details about the Delta-8 THC’s effects.
The question on everyone’s mind when they first hear about Delta-8 THC is:
“What is Delta 8 THC? Does Delta 8 THC get you high”?
The answer is YES, but more mildly than Delta-9 THC.1
If you enjoy a less intense high, Delta-8 THC may be for you. It can be helpful for those who want to avoid any anxiety or paranoia from the high of regular Delta-9 THC. Some have compared the effects of Delta-8 to that of Indica marijuana strains. This is associated with a heavy body high, some may call it "couch-locked". This is in contrast to the reported head-high, sativa effects of Delta-10 THC.
Besides the high, Delta-8 has some useful properties that can benefit anyone’s wellness routine. Many have found Delta-8 to be an anxiety-reducer, and an efficient pain-management tool.2,3 Effects on the digestive system have been shown to be prominent. Delta-8 THC was shown to help increase food consumption and could be used as a “therapeutic agent” to treat eating disorders.4 It can also be used to suppress vomiting.5 More research is necessary to fully understand the benefits Delta-8 THC may provide.
The legality of Delta-8 THC is a bit of a gray area. The Farm Bill of 2018 made hemp legal to process, distribute, and consume. The legal definition of hemp is that the flower contains less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC. Over this limit and the plant would be considered maijuana, which is still federally illegal. Delta-8 THC is commonly extracted from legal hemp. So while it can intoxicate you similar to Delta-9 THC, Delta-8 remains legal. There are some states which have chosen to outlaw Delta-8 THC, even if it was extracted from hemp.
Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, Rhode Island, and Utah have all elected to ban Delta-8 THC products.
Delta-8 THC may not be discernable from Delta-9 THC in urinalysis. Better play it safe and avoid Delta-8 THC products if drug tests are a concern of yours.
It can be a bit overwhelming trying to wade through all the Delta-8 THC products on the market to find what is right for you. To find a trustworthy company, look for easy access lab results. The lab results should be up-to-date, contain the amount of Delta-8 as advertised, and show that the levels of Delta-9 THC do not exceed the legal limit of 0.3%.
If you have any questions about product ingredients, potency, how to use them, or anything else, a company representative should be able to provide you with a knowledgeable answer.
Many wonder how much Delta-8 THC equals Delta-9 THC. There is not an exact answer, but generally Delta-8 is about half as strong as Delta-9 THC. For example, the effects of a 375mg Delta-9 THC Vape would be similar to that from a 750mg Delta-8 Vape.
There are many factors that will affect how a dose of Delta-8 THC affects you. Your weight, age, how you use it (smoking is more effective than edibles), desired effects, and tolerance all play a role. We suggest starting with a low dose, maybe about 10-40mg. After about 6 hours, if you feel that a higher dose would be more beneficial for you, go ahead and use a bit more. Taking note of how you feel after each dose can help you develop an understanding of how a specific dose will affect you.