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Cannabinoids of the Future: Delta-8 THC

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What Is Delta-8 THC? How does it differ from delta-9 THC?

Delta-8 Tetracannabinol is a tricyclic meroterpene that differs from its fraternal twin Delta-9 in the placement of one double carbon bond. Reports show it to lightly mimic THC’s effects, leading people to label it “marijuana lite,” “baby weed” and diet weed. Currently all the rage amongst CBD manufacturers, delta-8 has kept many of them alive, while it’s infuriated many within the greater cannabis industry. In state-legal businesses, many cannabis businesses have to run a gauntlet of testing in order to get products on the market. Since hemp is legal, delta 8 products undergo NO testing whatsoever at the moment, so caveat emptor.


Speaking of Which, Is Delta-8 Legal? 

It depends. While Delta-8 is definitely on the list of DEA Controlled Substances (scroll down this list, and you’ll see it listed next to “tetrahydrocannabinol”), the 2018 Farm Bill said however that all compounds from hemp are federally legal. And since pretty much all commercial delta 8 is synthesized from hemp-CBD in a lab, the idea is that it’s still hemp-derived.

An interim rule by the DEA issued last August did mention that synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinol was still illegal, but did not explicitly call out delta-8. And so far, there have been no raids.

So for now, the law is still developing on the local and state level, with bans either already in place or recently implemented in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Kentucky, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, Rhode Island, and Utah. On the other hand, Florida does allow for delta-8 products, as long as they don’t go over 0.3 delta-9 THC. If you’re in any other state

Just so you know, we’re not in the delta-8 game. ALL delta-8 products are lab-synthesized from CBD isolate, which cuts against our brand identity of the Plant, the Whole Plant, and Nothing But The Plant. However, we DO believe that delta-8 is a part of the wondrous entourage effect that heals us all. So here’s our factsheet on delta-8.

Will it Get Me High?

Short answer: Yes, but not very. It’s a far weaker partial agonist of the CB1 receptors in your central nervous system — the ones that get you high. General consensus is that you’ll feel anywhere from a third to a half of what you’d feel from delta-9 THC. 


Does Delta-8 Have THC in it?

Well, yeah. It is an isomer — meaning a molecular rearrangement — of THC. If your question is more, “Do delta-8 products have delta-9 THC in them as well,” it’s highly likely that you will be inhaling, eating, or consuming some delta-9 THC along with delta-8. Even in copacetic states like Florida, that can be a problem if there’s more than .3% delta-9 in the product. In addition, you might also be inhaling or consuming some, um, other stuff as well with your delta-8. As Oregon state compliance specialist Steven Crowley told Politico, “It isn’t just a clean one-to-one conversion… Fifteen to 30 percent is unknown byproducts.” 

Should I Take It?

We’ve seen this film before, what with the EVALI outbreak and the well-publicized problems with mislabeled CBD. There are no standards nor are there any mandates for testing or quality control — that’s just how new this stuff is. 

Will Delta-8 Show Up on a Drug Test?

Since, as was mentioned above, one of the inevitable by-products of CBD-Delta-8 synthesis is Delta-9, it’s likely it will turn up in a drug test as well.

Therapeutic Benefits of Delta 8

As you can imagine, delta-8 bears and shares certain capacities to delta-9, and has also been studied for them as well, too.

Pain: A 2018 study examining corneal injury in mice found Delta-8, as well as CBD, reduced pain and biomarkers for inflammation. However, similar to delta-9 another animal model study showed that tolerance can build up quickly.

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