April 16, 2021

Delta-8-THC: What It Is, Where It Comes From, How It Differs From CBD & Delta-9-THC

Delta-8-THC (aka delta-8, d-8, or delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol) is a hot topic in the cannabis realm right now. Perhaps you’ve heard the term but don’t really know much about it.

We’ll take care of that! This brief guide will cover all the key points and Delta-8 FAQs.

A quick note before we dive in: Because most people refer to delta-9-THC as THC, you’ll often hear delta-8-THC called delta-8. In this post we’ll use the terms THC for the delta-9 variety and delta-8-THC for the delta-8 variety.

What Is Delta-8-THC?

Delta-8-THC is a compound found in the cannabis plant. It’s a cannabinoid— like CBD and THC. In fact, it’s one of the four most prevalent compounds in cannabis. As a cannabinoid, delta-8-THC is full of potentially beneficial qualities.

You’ll find delta-8-THC being used therapeutically and recreationally.

How’s Delta-8-THC Compare To Delta-9-THC & CBD?

Don’t let the “THC” in its name fool you. Delta-8-THC and THC are related but different. Delta-8-THC is its own thing.

Let’s hold delta-8-THC up to its kin — THC and CBD — and see how they’re alike and how they’re different.

Delta-8-THC vs. Delta-9-THC

Delta-8-THC shares many of the features of THC. Like its delta-9 relative, delta-8-THC has a comparable molecular structure and engages with the same ECS receptors. According to the National Institute of Cancer, both have “antiemetic, anxiolytic, appetite-stimulating, analgesic, and neuroprotective properties.”

The big difference is that delta-8-THC does not have the same psychoactive effect on people as does THC. Delta-8-THC can produce some “high” feelings, but they’ll be at a lower magnitude than with THC.

Delta-8-THC vs. CBD

Delta-8-THC is closer to THC than CBD. They’re chemically dissimilar and produce different effects. They also interact with your ECS differently. However, they’re both cannabinoids that just might yield wellness benefits.

Where Does Delta-8-THC Come From?

Mother Nature creates delta-8-THC from delta-9-THC. Over time, THC degrades and becomes delta-8-THC. While delta-8-THC is a naturally occurring substance in cannabis, it’s only present in minute amounts.

But, TGFS (thank goodness for science)! Those smart folks in lab coats have figured out ways to create delta-8-THC. This means delta-8-THC can be derived from THC or CBD.

We don’t want to make your head explode with an overly-detailed explanation of the ins and outs extraction processes. It’s enough to understand that basic concept: Man conquered Plant.

  • Producers are able to isolate the desired molecule in THC or CBD and refine it down to a delta-8-THC concentrate.
  • Growers are also using selective breeding techniques to develop hemp plants with more plentiful base amounts of delta-8-THC.
  • Human manipulation of the cannabis compounds means that it’s possible to have enough delta-8-THC for commercial viability.

How Will Delta-8-THC Affect Me?

Imagine there’s a Euphoria Meter. If THC were a “10” and CBD were a “0” — delta-8-THC dial would probably register somewhere in the “5-7” range. Delta-8-THC reportedly has 30-50% less psychoactive potency than THC. Consumers have described feeling calm, but energized — a much tamer sensation than with THC.

It’s worth noting that there’s a good chance you might fail a drug test if you’ve consumed delta-8-THC. So, this might be another consideration for you.

Is Delta-8-THC Legal?

This is a giant gray area! Sorry — we know that’s the kind of response everyone hates….

Much of the legal question hinges on where the delta-8-THC was sourced: from marijuana or from hemp.

The remainder of delta-8-THC’s legal status depends on location. Because legality of cannabis varies from state to state.

  • Some states prohibit all marijuana products.
  • Others outlaw only certain cannabis items or restrict usage to just qualifying medical program participants.
  • Still other states have legalized every kind and use of all cannabis.

To make it more confusing, industrial hemp and hemp-derived products — like CBD oil — are federally legal if they contain no more than 0.3% THC. Some states passively defer to the federal laws (i.e., They don’t have explicit state legislation legalizing hemp CBD with 0.0-0.3% THC.) — so there’s often room for interpretation. Other states have well-defined statutes that declare this federally-sanctioned crop and its byproducts are OK.

Moral of the story: Check the laws of your state. Wash, rinse, repeat (because the rules and regs are evolving).

Where Can I Find Delta-8-THC Products?

This can also vary depending upon where you live. It boils down to the pesky legality issue…. But, we’ll try to provide a more generalized answer.

Kinds Of Delta-8-THC Products

Similar to other cannabis constituents, delta-8-THC can be incorporated into a broad assortment of products and formulations. Here are some of the goods you might come across:

  • Gummies
  • Vapables and smokable
  • Oils and tinctures
  • Infused edibles and drinkables

Where To Buy Delta-8-THC Products

Delta-8-THC may be found in brick and mortar stores as well as online. It’s still a developing niche in the cannabis marketplace. So you may have to go on a bit of a scavenger hunt to suss out a decent selection of delta-8-HTC products and a trustworthy retailer.

That said, purchasing from an online shop is often the most reliable and recommended route. You can conveniently shop around and will often spend less for better products.

Delta-8-THC You Later

Delta-8-THC is taking the cannabis market by storm. But it’s more than a buzz word or here-today-gone-tomorrow fad. It’s a cannabinoid — like CBD and THC — packed with health and wellness potential.

While delta-8-THC shares many of the qualities THC, it won’t elicit that same “high.” The effects of delta-8-THC are much mellower.

You can produce delta-8-THC from THC or CBD. The legality of delta-8-THC depends on its source (marijuana or hemp) and the state you’re in. That said, you can find delta-8-THC products online and possibly in some local stores. As the market matures and laws evolve, delta-8-THC will likely become more available.


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