There’s been a lot of buzz lately about Delta-8-THC, and it has been steadily growing in popularity among marijuana users in recent years. Early testing shows that Delta-8 may contain additional anti-nausea, anti-anxiety, appetite-stimulating, pain relieving and neuroprotective properties, compared to traditional Delta-9 THC varieties.
That potentially makes Delta-8 a kinder, gentler alternative for marijuana users. If that sounds too good to be true, you’re not alone. There’s a lot of conflicting information about Delta-8 in the current marketplace, and interested users have a lot of questions. In this article, we’ll explore the chemical structure of Delta-8, as well as some of the legality issues and potential effects of this promising cannabinoid.
How is Delta-8 different from “regular” THC?
Like regular THC, Delta-8 works by binding to the body’s endocannabinoid system, or ECS, which helps regulate processes like appetite, sleep and stress response. Delta-8 and Delta-9 both have a double-bond chemical structure that is thought to produce the intoxicating effects that make you feel high.
The difference between the two is in the placement of the double bond. In Delta-8 varieties, the double bond falls on the eighth carbon, instead of on the ninth in Delta-9. (Hence the names.) Early research suggests that it is precisely that double-bond placement that changes how Delta-8 and Delta-9 interact with the brain. Simply put, because of Delta-8’s double-bond placement on the eighth carbon, side effects like sleepiness, hunger, and anxiety are thought to be less potent than in traditional varieties.
That means, some Delta-8 users will experience a more mild or manageable response than they have experienced with other, more potent types of marijuana.
Is Delta-8 THC legal where I live?
The short answer is: That depends. Currently (and with a few major caveats), Delta-8 is legal in every state except Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, Rhode Island and Utah.
The long answer is much more complicated, and it has to do with how the Delta-8 is extracted and produced. In many parts of the country, traditional Delta-9 THC remains illegal. In some of those same states, however, Delta-8 is technically legal if it comprises hemp-derived CBD, per the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. This bill allows for “the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”
However, individual states (and certain municipalities) still get to decide the legality of hemp. Even in Colorado, where marijuana has been legal for years at the state level, there are restrictions for buying and selling Delta-8—even though its side effects are less potent than traditional THC.
As popularity and interest grows, many extractors and producers are starting to ramp up production to meet the new demand, in hopes of one day shipping Delta-8 to all 50 U.S. states.
What dosage and side effects should I expect with Delta-8?
Many Delta-8 users have described the “high” as mildly sedative, without much mental stimulation. Many have reported an absence of paranoia, anxiety, or dizziness when using Delta-8 (as opposed to side effects that can occur when using traditional THC products). Some users prefer the lower potency of Delta-8, while others have expressed disappointment and prefer to continue using Delta-9 varieties to experience the side effects they enjoy.
As is always the case with THC-infused products, you should only try Delta-8 once you have done a sufficient amount of research. Just like traditional THC, Delta-8 is a psychoactive substance that may cause drowsiness and dizziness. You should never use Delta-8 or any THC-infused product while driving or operating heavy machinery.
As always, if you’re unsure about how much to take, we recommend that users start low and go slow, meaning, try a little bit at a time and increase dosage until you achieve the desired effects. Remember: You can always ingest more THC, but you can’t go back and consume less.
Have you tried Delta-8 THC? We’d love to hear from you. Drop us a line.
For more information on marijuana strains, dosage, and responsible use, visit our resource page.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.