Delta-8 is getting a lot of attention right now, and it’s become a popular product to stock for CBD brands looking to offer something new. But if it’s your first time hearing of delta-8 you’ve probably got plenty of questions!
Delta-8, or delta-8-tetrahydrocanabinol, is a secondary cannabinoid produced in low quantities by the cannabis plant. It’s considered less psychoactive than delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary intoxicating cannabinoid in cannabis. While delta-8 has been researched less than THC and cannabidiol (CBD), the compound is believed to have numerous health benefits.
In this guide, we’ll bring you fully up to speed with delta-8. We’ll touch on the history of delta-8, why it’s legal in the United States, and explore some reasons for taking it (both therapeutic and recreational!).
An introduction to Delta-8
Chemically, delta-8 is extremely similar to regular THC – in fact, the latter turns into the former during oxidation, an aging process. Yet despite the tiny molecular difference, the effects of delta-8 are markedly different from THC. The substantially reduced psycho-activity means delta-8 won’t produce that intense ‘stoned’ effect of regular marijuana.
Furthermore, delta-8 is only found in cannabis in tiny amounts. Whereas a highly potent marijuana strain can have THC levels topping 25%, delta-8 is typically present in quantities of less than 1%. This makes delta-8 both rare and valuable, and must be extracted via high-end techniques, such as the gold standard CO2 extraction method.
Possible health benefits
As of July 2020, there is still limited scientific research on the health properties of delta-8. However, there have been several intriguing studies that point to some fascinating, and potentially powerful uses. The cannabinoid is active in the body’s endocannabinoid system, where it binds to both the CB1 and CB2 receptor.
Nausea and vomiting: Delta-8 is known as an anti-emetic compound, meaning it can help to reduce nausea. This could be beneficial for cancer patients looking to alleviate nauseous symptoms. Delta-8 may also work well as a hangover cure!
Memory: The cannabinoid has shown promising effects as a neuroprotectant, and may help stave off debilitating neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s. Animal research shows that delta-8 boosts levels of acetylcholine, a vital neurotransmitter involved with memory and learning.
Reduced anxiety: If regular cannabis leaves you feeling anxious and paranoid, you may prefer the more mellow effects of its mildly psychoactive cousin. Since delta-8 is not as intoxicating as standard THC, it doesn’t cause the intense reality-bending effects that can trigger anxiety.
Increased appetite: A research paper on rodents, published in Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior back in 2004, found that delta-8 has a more stimulating effect on appetite than delta-9-THC.
Given delta-8 does have a psychoactive effect, it’s no surprise that people are using these legal products for recreational purposes, too! Delta-8 products probably won’t satisfy the hardcore cannabis user, but if you prefer a milder hit, and remember the less intense weed of decades ago, you will love delta-8! It offers a satisfying effect, lifting your spirits and dissolving your worries, without making you edgy or irritable.
Popular delta-8 products
The delta-8 industry is expanding very quickly, with Americans across the country getting to know and love this exciting cannabinoid. The delta-8 market has much in common with the CBD market – here is a quick look at some of the products available, and their benefits.
Vaping and vape cartridges are brilliant if you want a convenient and efficient method of taking delta-8. Inhalation is the quickest way of getting delta-8 cannabinoids into the body, so they can start having a positive effect. Research suggests that vaping is considerably less harmful than smoking – but always make sure you buy legitimate, lab-tested products.
For more sustained delta-8 effects, the slower release offered by edibles are just the ticket. While edibles don’t kick in straight away, the delta-8 ultimately stays effective for much longer than when taken in a vape juice or tincture. This is ideal if tackling chronic symptoms, or simply if you don’t want to top up your dose every couple of hours.
Tincture oils are a classic way of taking hemp products, and for good reason. The sublingual absorption that occurs when applying oil under the tongue means the effects of delta-8 take hold almost as rapidly as when vaping. And even better, there are zero health risks associated with tincture oils. And you can also use them in recipes and apply them to the skin.
Is delta-8 legal?
Yes! Despite having mild psychoactive effects, and having so much in common with THC, delta-8 is perfectly legal when marketed as an industrial hemp product.
Why? Because the law concerning industrial hemp (found in the 2018 Farm Bill), permits all cannabinoids, except for just one – delta-9-THC in quantities greater than 0.3% THC. The law makes no explicit mention of delta-8, so it can be grouped among all those legal hemp cannabinoids!
Will delta-8 show up on a drug test?
Bad news: delta-8 will most likely show up on a drug test. Drug tests don’t look for THC itself, but its metabolites. These are the molecules THC is broken down into, and the molecules excreted from the body that signal whether a person has been taking a certain drug.
Frustratingly, since delta-8 is so similar to THC, there is a strong chance its metabolites will trigger a positive drug test.
So, there you have it! Delta-8 products are a fantastic addition to the legal industrial hemp market, providing an array of therapeutic qualities, with some mild psychoactive effects to keep the experience fun!
We have a growing collection of premium delta-8 products available for our store. Find the best one for you, and start enjoying the unique and impressive effects of delta-8 today!
Have you already tried delta-8? We would love to hear about your experiences. How did it make you feel? What’s your favorite type of product? What did you take it for? Share your thoughts in the comments section, and join the delta-8 conversation!
Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-8-THC) is a secondary cannabinoid present in cannabis and hemp. Cannabinoids are the most important compounds in cannabis, and produce a variety of physical and mental effects, mainly by acting on the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). Delta-8 is typically found in very low quantities, but is increasingly being isolated and concentrated to make potentially beneficial delta-8 products.
Delta-8 and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) have a slight chemical difference - in delta-8, the double bond is located on the 8th carbon in the chain, and in delta-9 it’s on the ninth.
This tiny chemical difference makes for a much more significant difference in effects. While regular THC is known for potent psychoactive effects, delta-8’s psychoactive properties are milder. However, delta-8 still produces a high, unlike cannabidiol (CBD), another cannabis cannabinoid that has become popular in recent times.
Good news: delta-8 is legal in the United States, per federal law. Even though delta-8 has lots in common with THC, and produces a psychoactive effect, under the industrial hemp regulations set by the 2018 Farm Bill, companies can sell delta-8 legally.
The Farm Bill allows all cannabinoids from hemp products, except for delta-9-THC in concentrations of 0.3% or higher. This means a hemp product could have huge amounts of delta-8 and still be legal! It’s likely lawmakers weren’t thinking of delta-8 when the Farm Bill was implemented however, so this law could be changed in the future. But for now, delta-8 is all good!
Yes, delta-8 probably will show up on a drug test. This is because drug tests are interested in the metabolites of the cannabinoids, rather than the cannabinoids themselves. Metabolites are what compounds like THC break down into, before eventually being excreted from the body (such as in urine).
While delta-8 is legal, unlike regular THC, given the chemicals are so similar, the metabolites will be, too. And in all likelihood, this will trigger a positive drug test.
There’s little scientific research on delta-8’s properties. But like many of the secondary cannabinoids in cannabis, experts have highlighted some possible therapeutic effects.
These include reduced nausea and vomiting, improved memory, lower anxiety levels, and better appetite. Please note we do not recommend taking delta-8 as a replacement for other prescription drugs. Always contact your doctor if you are in need of medical advice.
Delta-8 is a psychoactive substance, so the effects may vary from user to user. However, people commonly report feeling clear-headed and energized, yet relaxed after taking it. Delta-8 is perhaps compared to sativa strains of cannabis, and is a great product if you want some pleasant cerebral effects, without the couchlock.
Delta-8 products can be taken in several ways. For the fastest effects, delta-8 vape cartridges are perfect, with tincture oils a good second-best option if you don’t want to vape for health reasons. You can also get delta-8 edibles, capsules and concentrates. As the industry expands, expect to see many more ways of taking delta-8, just like has happened with the hemp-based CBD market.
Yes, delta-8 will make you “high,” but not in the same way that a regular THC product would. Delta-8 is not as intoxicating as THC, so expect milder effects. Delta-8 produces its psychoactive effects by binding with CB1 receptors in the endocannabinoid system, which are situated in the body’s central nervous system. The delta-8 high is associated with less anxiety, paranoia and sedation, making it an ideal high for during the day.