As cannabis reform continues to be accepted, so has cannabis knowledge. The condition of cannabis in 2020 has resulted in tons of consumers becoming familiar with various cannabinoids and chemicals that grow on cannabis. They know about THC, CBD, maybe even some of the rare ones like CBC, CBG and THCV. Some may even know the proper name of THC, the compound that gets us “high” is delta-9 THC. However, very few know that delta-9 is not the only known type of THC, and it’s also not the only type with the desired psychoactive effects.
Look at edibles for instance, they get people high, right? Just like smoking cannabis does, but it’s not exactly like it, right? While a high when you smoke and an edible high do feel somewhat similar, they are notably different in their own ways. Edible highs usually show more heavy, body effects, and more intense cerebral stimulation. What’s the reason for the difference? The reason is that you’re not getting high on the same exact compound.
Eating edibles produces a completely different form of THC than smoked cannabis, known as 11hydroxy-THC, this happens due to decarboxylation. But the list of THC variations doesn’t just stop there! A new cannabinoid has been emerging in the cannabis world with its own unique and interesting effects; it's known as delta-8 THC. We've researched a few articles, and the products themselves to bring you an informational blog about Delta-8, check it out!
What is Delta-8 THC?
The language and science of cannabinoids is fairly new to the CBD and Cannabis market. As a result, the terms relating to these compounds are still evolving every month. Cannabinoids have been reduced to general initialisms to make them easier to discuss. This made cannabidiol become CBD, and tetrahydrocannabinol become THC. While convenient, this shortening also comes with an issue of simplification. As mentioned, most consumers do not know that different arrangements of THC actually exist, and this is due to that simplification of the word.
The “8” in delta-8 stands for the placement of a chemical bond, one step over from where it sits in delta-9. Its structurally similar, allowing it to have close to the same effects. However, there are slight key differences.
Delta-8 can be smoked in cartridges similar to standard cartridges bought for delta-9 or CBD, you can also put Delta-8 into gummies for edible ingestion, or use the extract on hemp buds to provide high amounts of CBD and Delta-8 THC.
Cannabis and hemp plants grow very small amounts of delta-8 THC, making it far more rare than delta-9. However, it can be derived from either type of cannabis plant using special breeding, extraction, and processing methods.
According to a Pew Research Center 2019 study, two-thirds of Americans favor cannabis legalization. With only 12 legal states, while many more are accompanying them over time, it’s clear that many people are curious about the benefits of cannabinoids, yet have little to no access to a wider range of cannabinoids.
The Effects of Delta-8 THC
Alright, so a different THC cannabinoid really exists, does it actually matter? While delta-8 and delta-9 THC may share similarities, they have some noted differences. Unlike CBD, which is heralded for its lack of psychoactive effects, that is not the case for delta-8 THC.
Delta-8 offers much more mild effects than delta-9, but more intense effects than CBD.
Delta-8 can be psychoactive for some consumers, just less so than delta-9. A good way to think about it generally is something like a "light buzz” or "diet weed". Many of the effects and benefits of delta-9, though toned down a few steps, are still present in Delta-8. It still contains euphoric qualities, and helps to stimulate appetite. It can energize or relax the consumer depending on the larger terpene and cannabinoid profile, similar to delta-9. And yes, it induces some of the typical heady, psychoactive experiences people tend to look for in delta-9.
The main difference is that while delta-8 can do all of these things, it does them at a less intense level. Even for experienced cannabis users with a high tolerance, there is a noticeable effect, albeit a lesser one. However, the trade-off here is that the potential negative side effects of cannabis are also reduced. Delta-8 tends to not give off any anxiety or sense of being "too high" that delta-9 may impart on the user.
Much like CBD and delta-9 THC, delta-8 bring relaxation, focus, and uplifting feelings that consumers expect, along with reports of pain reduction and decreased nausea.
These effects have yet to be studied at length, but user-experience shows promising signs. The compound is even known to the National Cancer Institute, which notes that it has, “antiemetic, anxiolytic, appetite-stimulating, analgesic, and neuroprotective qualities.” We here at GLAKratom like to describe delta-8 THC as “sort of a middle ground between CBD hemp, and Delta-9 THC.” That seems to be as perfect a description as we’ve encountered with our customers and through our experiences.
Reasons to Try Delta-8 THC
Delta-8’s unique properties lend themselves to a variety of uses and situations. For the cannabis-curious, it can act as a bridge to acclimating to other cannabinoids. Especially in today’s market, many young cannabis consumers find delta-9 can sometimes be too intense to enjoy. This is especially true in the case of edibles or dabs, but depending on the customer can be for vapes and flower as well.
Delta-8 might be ideal for when a cannabinoid lift is desired, but the full potency of delta-9 is too much for the occasion.
While many people use cannabis to help with social anxiety, delta-9 effects tend to be too effective/strong or hard to focus under certain circumstances. When clarity is higher on the priority list, a regular cannabis consumer might reach for delta-8 above delta-9.
Also, as mentioned, delta-8 is available to consumers who might not otherwise be able to try delta-9 THC. While some states may have individual restrictions, Delta-8 cannabinoids are completely hemp-derived and thus fall under the legislation of the 2018 Farm Bill. In accordance with the bill’s guidelines, delta-8 preparations contain less than .3% delta-9 THC.
Legality of Hemp-Derived THC Compounds
The differences in name and how it is sourced may feel very minimal, but they change how delta-8 is handled legally. In the United States, the hemp derivation and lack of delta-9 THC ideally put delta-8 preparations into the same class as CBD products.
Currently, there is some debate underway about proposed guidelines that would alter the definition of permitted hemp preparations if the precursor ingredients have higher THC levels than allowable. Currently, this matter does not appear to affect delta-8 preparations.
Unlike delta-9 THC, delta-8 itself currently has no federal scheduling. However, it is possible to fail a drug test from the use of delta-8, as those tests do not test for specific types of THC, but rather THC metabolites. THC metabolites are the result of the body processing any form of THC. We recommend to not purchase or consume Delta-8 THC products if you're going to be getting drug tested.