Move over CBD, there’s a new cannabinoid in town. Delta-8 THC is making headlines as the latest canna craze to hit the market. This minor cannabinoid has been dubbed “weed lite” for its similar effects to Delta-9 THC, the cannabinoid known to produce the feeling of being high. But Delta-8 differs from its sister Delta-9 in one major way – it’s legally available for sale in gas stations, grocery and liquor stores, and found readily online because of its legal status. Where does this intoxicating cannabinoid come from, what does it do, and where can you find it? Read our Delta-8-THC guide below to find out.
What Is Delta-8 THC?
Delta-8 THC is a naturally occurring cannabinoid found in marijuana and hemp. It is a minor cannabinoid, meaning it is present in trace amounts, as opposed to Delta-9 THC which is prevalent in marijuana and responsible for the stoning effect most commonly associated with weed. When Delta-9 THC degrades, it naturally becomes Delta-8 THC as it breaks down. Delta-8 is therefore an analog of Delta-9. It is similar in molecular structure but provides slightly different effects.
Since it is naturally present in such small amounts, extracting Delta-8 THC from marijuana or hemp is not a cost-effective option. Most Delta-8 products are made by converting CBD into Delta-8 through a special isomerization process.
Delta-8 THC vs. Delta-9 THC
Delta-8 behaves very much like Delta-9. There are various effects depending on whether or not the strain is sativa or indica, and what terpenes and flavonoids are naturally present in the plant. The biggest noticeable difference is that Delta-8 THC is much less psychoactive, which is a big draw for people who wish to partake in cannabis but do not want the intensity of the high that results from potent weed. Delta-8 is a wonderful way to gain the benefits of THC, but without an overwhelming high and is especially recommended for first-time cannabis users.
Because Delta-8 is a form of THC, it will likely show up on a standard drug panel. Most THC tests are not able to distinguish the source, so whether or not you consume Delta-8 or Delta-9, you will probably fail a drug test. If you are facing a test or have an upcoming test, it’s best to avoid all Delta-8 products.
Effects of Delta-8 THC
Delta-8 THC is a psychoactive compound. This means that it affects the mind, mood, perception, or behavior. Because of its contrast in molecular structure when compared to Delta-9, it binds differently to the CB1 receptor in the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The CB1 receptor is responsible for moderating the psychotropic effects of THC, but because Delta-8 binds differently to this receptor, the effects are much less intense. Rather than a high that encompasses fully body and mind, Delta-8 produces similar, yet mild effects.
People report feeling happy, relaxed, and mellow. Many users say that Delta-8 is great for tackling insomnia or physical pain and tension without the obvious stoning effect. Delta-8 benefits are often associated with a more clear-headed high and less negative side effects such as anxiety or paranoia. Many people choose Delta-8 over CBD because the physical and mental benefits are the same, but the mild intoxicating effects are a desirable bonus.
Is Delta-8 THC Legal?
Technically, yes. But there are some legal gray areas to consider. For example, if a product containing Delta-8 is a derivative of marijuana, that product can only be sold in states with a legal recreational or medical marijuana program. However, if a product contains Delta-8 THC made from CBD (or hemp), then it falls under the same guidelines any CBD product follows. With the passing of the Farm Bill in 2018, hemp became legal to grow and sell nationwide, so long as the plant and its products do not contain more than 0.3% THC.
The widespread availability of Delta-8 makes it an appealing choice for consumers. Unfortunately, not all states are in support of this cannabinoid hitting the mainstream. Some states have made it illegal to sell or ship Delta-8 THC, including:
- New York
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
Always check local and state laws before buying, selling, or consuming any products that may fall under legal jurisdiction.
Where Is Delta-8 Available?
The good news is, Delta-8 products are readily available in many places. Just as CBD products began to fill shelves in grocery stores, liquor stores, gas stations, convenience stores, and supplement aisles, the same can be said for Delta-8 THC. In states where Delta-8 cannot be sold or shipped, you are still able to order online. There is an abundance of online retailers with a variety of Delta-8 products available for sale.
Consumption Methods of Delta-8 THC
Cannabis product categories are so diverse, there is truly something for everyone. Delta-8 THC can be consumed in its original flower form, or added to a multitude of products like edibles and vape pens.
Nothing beats a classic joint. For those that love to smoke doobies, Dimo’s Delta-8 prerolls are a great choice. Each pre-rolled joint contains 100% hemp flower rolled in kief. Each pack contains seven pre-rolls for a total of 3.5 grams per pack. Whether you prefer indica, sativa, or hybrid, Dimo has a tasty option. Can’t decide? Try a sample pack and one of each in Mimosa, OG Kush, and Gelato.
Vape cartridges are incredibly popular for their ease of use, discretion, and great taste. MoonWlkr’s Delta-8 vape cartridges are flavorful and fun, made with only natural terpenes. They never add any fillers or harmful ingredients to their cartridges and the carts are compatible with any 510 thread battery. Stock up on flavors like Orange Chemdawg, Sour Lemon Haze, Strawberry Gelato, and Grape Runtz. Or, grab a four-pack bundle and get one of each.
Perfect for travel, or in cases where you just need ultimate convenience, try out one of MoonWlkr’s Delta-8 disposable vape pens. Made with the same great flavors as their cartridges, disposable pens are pre-charged and ready to go. Each pen contains approximately 300 draws with 800 mg Delta-8 THC in each. Simply toss the cartridge once finished.
For the edible lover, Dimo has the fix you need. Their Delta-8 gummies are available in several classic flavors, like Sour Peach Rings, Blue Raspberry Sourbelts, and your traditional gummy worms. Each gummy has 25mg, with 10 total pieces in each pouch. These all make for the perfect evening snack for nice and mellow effects.
For the cannabis connoisseur, dabbing is considered one of the best ways to experience the flavor and effect that a strain has to offer. Elevated Wellness is one company creating a top-shelf Delta-8 extract. They offer a one-gram container of pure Delta-8 THC. If you are wondering what straight Delta-8 feels like, this is the product to try.
Is Delta-8 THC Safe?
As with any cannabis product, it’s important to shop from a brand that provides test results for all products. This ensures that the item is free from all contaminants, and clearly labels the potency so you can be sure the product labeling is accurate. Many Delta-8 products contain flavors to enhance the experience. It’s not uncommon to see a vape pen with a flavor like grape or strawberry. These are natural terpenes that are added for flavor and are safe for consumption. However, be sure to check the ingredients list on all products before use.
The future is undetermined when it comes to the commercial legality of Delta-8 THC products. For now, they are readily available and offer people a great way to relax, medicate, and enjoy the wonderful benefits of cannabis.