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Delta 8 THC

What Is Delta 8 THC? The Ultimate Guide

Modified Date: January 17, 2022

Do you like CBD? Then wait until you try the newest cannabinoid on the scene: Delta 8 THC. 

Forbes call it “the breakout cannabinoid of the year.” MSN calls it “the latest THC substitute.” We call it a great way to get healthy and uplifted – at the same time. Delta 8 THC seems to combine the best of THC and CBD’s effects. 

Here’s what you need to know about this unique cannabinoid. We think it could change the way you view cannabis.

Is Delta 8 THC Legal?

In 2018, a new Federal Farm Bill was passed. That isn’t anything special in and of itself – Farm Bills are passed every four years – but this one was different. It made provisions for hemp. According to the Bill, every hemp-derived cannabinoid besides delta-9 THC was now legal. 

2018’s Federal Farm Bill was one of the biggest reasons that the popularity of CBD, or cannabidiol, took off the way it did. From 2018 to 2020 the popularity of CBD products more than doubled.

Soon enough, people began wondering about other hemp-derived trace cannabinoids. Was THC’s raw form, THCa, legal? Was THCv legal? What about CBN, the sleep-friendly cannabinoid

The answer(s) to all these questions, surprisingly enough, turned out to be yes. Just as long as low-THC hemp, not high-THC cannabis, was the original source.

What Is Delta 8 THC?

Delta 8 THC is one of hemp’s most interesting trace cannabinoids. It’s what scientists call an isomer of ‘regular’ THC, which means it has a different chemical structure but the same chemical formula. All that’s different is the positioning of a single carb bond. 

This slight difference in structure, however, gives delta-8 THC radically different effects. Delta 8 feels much more refined than regular THC, almost like you’ve taken THC and CBD together. According to the NCI (National Cancer Institute), delta-8 has “antiemetic, anxiolytic, appetite-stimulating, analgesic, and neuroprotective properties.” 

Perhaps delta 8 THC’s only downside is that it’s hard to make. As we mentioned above, delta 8 is a trace cannabinoid, which means it’s only present in hemp plants in minute amounts. Delta-8 products are more difficult to make than THC or CBD products, which also makes them pricier.  

Gathering up enough delta 8 THC to make a finished product takes a whole lot of processing power – among the many processes used are CO₂ extraction, fractional distillation, and/or isomerization

But delta 8 is still worth it. Why? More on that next.

What Delta 8 THC Does

Think of delta 8 THC as a cannabinoid that presents the best of both worlds. It basically has the same health benefits as CBD…and the same uplifting qualities of THC. Recent research has shown us what makes that possible. It turns out that delta 8 binds to your body’s CB2 receptors (like CBD) and CB1 receptors (like THC).

One study discovered that delta 8 might increase the brain’s levels of acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter that regulates memories. 

Another study found that delta 8 allowed for “increased food consumption and [improved] cognitive function” without any side effects. In other words, it probably won’t make you forgetful. 

Delta 8 THC has also been linked to:

  • Regulated appetite 
  • Creative, flexible thinking
  • Relief from pain and inflammation

Just as impressive as these benefits is the fact that they tend to come without side effects; delta-8 THC doesn’t seem to cause dry mouth or paranoia. 

Will Delta 8 THC Get You High?

Yes – probably so. 

But don’t be too sure that’s a bad thing. Delta 8’s high is much gentler than what most people associate with cannabis. According to cannabis specialist Dr. Peter Grinspoon, “people report [Delta 8] as being less anxiety-provoking, less sedating, and a little more clear-headed than THC.”

In other words, the delta-8 high is fun yet manageable. You’re unlikely to get too high from it. 

“Think of it as the diet or lite version of THC,” another expert describes to HelloGiggle. You can take delta-8 and proceed to safely enjoy nature, exercise, or time with family and friends. Of course, don’t drive while under the influence. 

Where Can I Buy Delta 8 THC Online

Finding premium delta 8 is actually pretty easy. Just source it from an established CBD brand. There’s a lot of overlap between CBD and delta 8 production, which means that brands who have their CBD products dialed in will probably also produce quality delta 8 THC.

Below you can find our recommended Delta 8 products.  

Delta-8 Gummies By: Cannabislife
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Delta 8 Gummies By: Premium Jane
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  • Each gummy contains 25mg of delta 8
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Delta 8 + CBG Oil By: Premium Jane
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  • Made from full-spectrum hemp extract
  • 1000mg total Delta 8 content
  • 200mg total CBG content
  • Sourced from USA-grown hemp
  • Available in Candy Watermelon & Tropical Punch flavors
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What Happens When You Combine CBD & Delta-8 

Have you ever heard of the entourage effect?

It’s a type of compound synergy that explains why full spectrum CBD works so well. And guess what? Delta-8 THC feeds into the entourage effect, too. Delta-8 likely makes CBD more powerful and regular THC more mellow. It might be the perfect addition to your existing cannabis/hemp routine. 

Alternatively, you might like delta-8’s existing balance so much that you swap things around a little. That’s fine, too. After all, pretty much every cannabinoid works holistically to promote full body balance – trace cannabinoids like delta-8 THC included. 

Does Delta 8 THC Show Up On a Drug Test?

Even though delta 8 THC might be legal, its chemical similarity to regular THC mean that the average drug test just can’t tell the difference between it and delta 9.

“Drug tests typically test for metabolites left behind by consumption and not the chemical itself, and since delta 8 bonds to the same receptors and gets metabolized the same way…well, you get it,” cannabis expert Ian Bush explained to HelloGiggles.

Actually, any type of THC molecule will break down into the THC metabolites that common “point of care” drug tests are designed to look for. Delta 8, delta 9, THCv, and 11-Hydroxy all look the same to these tests because they all create the same primary metabolite, THC-COOH. 

This type of cross-reactivity often leads to false-positive test results, and it’s the reason why initial point of care tests are notoriously inaccurate. 

Is Delta 8 THC Safe?

Yes, delta 8 THC is completely safe. 

Research suggest that delta 8, like every natural cannabinoid, it’s virtually impossible to overdose on. The margin between an effective dose of delta 8 and a dangerous dose of delta 8 is enormous — far higher than what’s seen with water, caffeine, and most pharmaceutical drugs.

Delta 8 THC is also safe to travel with. If you want a technical reason for that, take it from the Coats and Rose law firm.

“At best, hemp-derived delta 8 THC isomerized from CBD might fall into the category of a ‘semisynthetic’ but the DEA rule does not touch on those, and because the 2018 Farm Bill included hemp derivatives within the definition of hemp, it appears, perhaps unintentionally, to be deemed hemp and not a controlled substance.”

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