Cannabis is nothing new. The historical record shows that usage of this plant for medicinal and recreational purposes dates back thousands of years and spans the globe, with mentions in ancient empires ranging from China to Greece, to the Middle East, and beyond.
What IS relatively new is the legalization of cannabis in the United States. Several states have passed legislation allowing access to marijuana for medical, and in some cases, recreational purposes, and more follow every year. Even the federal government has become more lenient in certain instances.
The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill included provisions for hemp cannabis. This type differs from marijuana in that it contains such a low volume of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) as to be negligible (0.3% or less, to be precise). Hemp is no longer considered to be a controlled substance. As such, it may be cultivated, processed, distributed, and transported across state lines (under federal regulation), making hemp cannabidiol (CBD) products accessible across the U.S.
Of course, the limit on THC applies expressly to Delta 9 THC, one of the hundreds of chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant — the one responsible for psychoactive effects (i.e., the “high” experienced following marijuana consumption). Lately, however, there’s been a lot of buzz surrounding Delta 8 THC.
What is Delta 8 THC, and how does it differ from Delta 9? Is Delta 8 legal? What benefits can you expect when you choose Delta 8 products? Is it worth trying Delta 8 as an alternative to hemp products or products with Delta 9 THC? If you’ve only recently discovered Delta 8, you probably want some answers before you try Delta 8 gummies, tinctures, or vapes. This guide will look at everything you need to know to decide what’s best for your health and wellness.
What Is Delta 8 THC?
The cannabis plant contains over 400 known chemical compounds. Roughly a hundred cannabinoids, or substances that bond with receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The rest are terpenes, flavonoids, and other substances associated with the taste, smell, and other properties of the cannabis plant.
One byproduct of the increasing legalization of both hemp and marijuana is that it has opened the door to expanded research, allowing for the discovery, isolation, and testing of some of the many chemical compounds found in cannabis.
Initially, two compounds emerged as providing outstanding benefits: THC and CBD. You’re likely familiar with them because many products tout a percentage of one or both. However, Delta 8 THC has recently received increasing attention. What is Delta 8?
As you may have guessed, Delta 8 is similar to Delta 9 THC. They share a name because they share a similar structure. However, Delta 8 is distinctive for producing far milder psychoactive effects. It is considered to be a minor cannabinoid, which is why it has taken so long to start garnering attention.
What makes this secondary cannabinoid special is that it helps to enhance the “entourage effect” when Delta 9 THC isn’t present. When chemical compounds from cannabis are consumed together, they amount to more than the sum of their parts. While CBD can produce some amazing effects when isolated, the benefits are magnified by the presence of other cannabinoids, terpenes, and so on, increasing overall efficacy.
Many people appreciate that hemp CBD products lack significant Delta 9 THC and the psychoactive effects it produces, but they’re also missing out on some elements of the entourage effect. Delta 8 can provide a solution that enhances the entourage effect without considerably increasing psychoactive side effects when you consume edibles or Delta 8 disposable products.
How Is Delta 8 Different from Delta 9?
Although Delta 8 and 9 are both THC, some key differences separate these distinctive cannabinoids.
The molecular structure of the two compounds is fairly similar, but a few of their atomic bonds are different, most notably the double bond on the 8th versus the 9th carbon chain (from whence each compound gains its numerical qualifier.) Why is this important?
The placement of this key bond impacts both how the compound is produced and the effects it generates.
Delta 9 THC is a product of enzymes in the cannabis plant. Delta 8, on the other hand, occurs when stored THC, which is unstable and easily oxidized, degrades. As a result, Delta 8 is less effective than Delta 9, but it tends to be more stable and long-lasting.
Each compound also interacts differently with the ECS in the human body. When you consume products with Delta 9 THC, it binds well to both CB1 receptors in the brain and nervous system and CB2 receptors in the immune system, producing significant effects.
Delta 8 disposables, edibles, and flowers produce diminished psychoactive effects because their affinity to bind with CB1 receptors is not as strong as that of Delta 9 THC.
While Delta 8 has been found to have an affinity for binding with CB2 receptors, more research is needed to understand what this means in terms of efficacy.
How Is Delta 8 Different from CBD?
The easiest way to sum up the difference between consuming CBD, Delta 9, or Delta 8 gummies, or other products is that Delta 8 is the happy medium of psychoactive effects.
While the chemical structure of Delta 8 causes it to produce weaker psychoactive effects than better-known Delta 9 THC, it still produces greater results than CBD, which has virtually no known psychoactive effects.
With that being said, Delta 8 does share some similarities to CBD in terms of benefits. For example, CBD enhances relaxation and sleep, eases stress and anxiety, relieves pain symptoms, and stimulates appetite.
Delta 8 may provide similar benefits, but it also has the potential for psychoactive side effects, albeit milder than Delta 9 produces.
You might wonder why anyone would choose Delta 8. After all, those seeking a euphoric high will get better results from Delta 9 products, while consumers who want to avoid psychoactive effects are more likely to choose CBD.
As noted above, there’s something to be said for the entourage effect. For some people, CBD simply isn’t strong enough on its own to offer needed relief from pain, insomnia, or other symptoms.
The multiplied effects of pairing cannabinoids can help to enhance beneficial outcomes. While there will be some psychoactive effects with Delta 8, they’re not nearly as significant as Delta 9, which is desirable for some consumers.
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Is Delta 8 Legal?
This question of legality is a tricky one to answer. While Delta 9 THC is specifically limited in the federally legalized use of hemp cannabis (to 0.3% or less), there’s no mention of Delta 8 in the legislation.
In other words, there remains a technical loophole that allows for Delta 8 flower and other hemp products to be legally produced, distributed, and shipped throughout the United States.
With that being said, several states have already taken steps to restrict or outright ban sales of Delta 8 products.
Several other states have pending legislation to restrict Delta 8. This variety of responses is why it’s important to understand the rules and regulations in your state before you attempt to purchase, possess, or consume Delta 8 products.
Even states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana products (featuring Delta 9 THC) may have restrictions on Delta 8 specifically, so you need to be aware of the laws in your state of residence.
Will Delta 8 Show Up During Drug Screening?
One of the greatest benefits of choosing hemp CBD products is that they’re unlikely to show up on a drug test. This masking occurs because drug tests typically screen for the presence of THC metabolites.
Although many states have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use, companies can still set drug-free policies as a condition of employment and screen for usage at their discretion.
Because Delta 8 is a form of THC closely related to Delta 9, you can reasonably expect that it will show up on a drug panel. Even if you choose hemp cannabis products with 0.3% or less THC, if they’re specifically enhanced with Delta 8, you shouldn’t be surprised to fail your drug test.
Cannabinoids can linger in your system and show up on tests for up to 30 days after consumption, so if you plan to enjoy Delta 8 disposables, edibles, or other products, make sure it isn’t within this time frame before known testing. If tests are random, you may want to stick with CBD isolate products.
Benefits of Choosing Delta 8 Flower
The main benefit of Delta 8 products is the balance between diminished psychoactive effects and enhanced entourage effects. Those who want the added benefits of some THC without the significant psychoactive properties inherent to Delta 9 THC will find the happy medium they seek with Delta 8.
Delta 8 has been found to produce an uplifted mood, increased relaxation, better sleep, and motivational effects, such as focus and clarity. While there are some reports of side effects like drowsiness, there is still little information about the comprehensive benefits and possible side effects of Delta 8.
Is Delta 8 Safe?
The use of marijuana products is generally considered relatively safe, especially when dosing instructions are followed. CBD, in particular, is safe for use by healthy individuals and is typically well-tolerated and free of unwanted side effects.
It is possible to experience some minor issues like dry mouth or drowsiness, but nothing harmful. Still, it’s always best to check with your doctor before using cannabis for medical or recreational purposes.
Because Delta 8 is a relatively new addition to the cannabis marketplace, potential immediate and long-term side effects have not been widely studied or reported. With that being said, you can probably expect possible side effects similar to the use of CBD or products containing Delta 9 THC.
How Is Delta 8 Consumed?
There are several ways to consume Delta 8, just as there are many ways to consume other marijuana and hemp products. You could try:
Flower and Pre-Rolls
This traditional form of consumption encourages nostalgia for many people, and inhalation is the best way to rapidly experience the effects of cannabis.
It’s hard to argue with a classic, so if you’re looking for a relatively simple means of enjoying fast relief, Delta 8 flower is a great option, and pre-rolls deliver added convenience.
Similar to flowers, vaping Delta 8 disposables and Delta 8 cartridges deliver fast results. Since you don’t have to grind or roll any buds, this form of consumption is often considered much more convenient. It’s also more discreet, especially if you choose vape products that lack the terpenes responsible for the distinctive scent of cannabis.
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Liquid Delta 8 tinctures can be a little intimidating for the uninitiated, but many consumers like them because they offer personalized control of dosing for desired effects.
They’re also incredibly versatile. You can use tinctures sublingually (under the tongue) for fast relief, or you can add them to beverages, sauces, and dressings, or other foods for easy and discreet consumption.
Edibles like Delta 8 gummies, candies, chocolate bars, beverages, and more deliver pre-packaged dosing, making it easy to achieve similar effects every time. For those new to the wide world of cannabis, or Delta 8 specifically, edibles offer an easy, discreet, and tasty way to try Delta 8.
Delta 8 Concentrates like wax, diamonds, sauce, shatter, and more are potent, cost-effective, and ideal for long-time consumers looking to branch out. You’ll likely need a dabbing rig to use these products effectively, which is why they’re usually more attractive to seasoned cannabis connoisseurs.
Where Can I Get Delta 8 Disposable Products?
In states where Delta 8 disposables and other products are not yet restricted, finding them at approved dispensary locations may be possible. However, it’s often easier to buy Delta 8 products online.
D8 Resellers offers a wide range of Delta 8 flower, vape products, edibles, tinctures, and concentrates so everyone can find the best options to suit their personal needs and preferences. Before you buy, make sure you know the laws about Delta 8 products in your state.
Is Delta 8 Right for Me?
Only you can decide whether Delta 8 disposable vapes, edibles, and other products are right for you, but with a solid understanding of what these products are and what benefits they offer, you have the best chance to make informed decisions regarding your health and wellness.