Delta 8 THC is the newest compound to take the cannabis industry by storm. But what exactly is delta 8, and is it safe? Even some of the most knowledgeable cannabis aficionados are unfamiliar with this novel cannabinoid. Not to mention, delta 8 is primarily sold on the internet, which can make it more difficult to tell which products are high quality. Don’t fret; keep reading to learn how to ensure you’re buying safe delta 8.
What Is Delta 8 THC?
If you have any familiarity with cannabis, then you’ve likely heard about THC—the intoxicating cannabinoid responsible for producing the “high” associated with marijuana consumption. Well, the full name for this cannabinoid is delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol. The 9 in delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol refers to a covalent bond located on the 9th carbon molecule in the compound’s carbon chain. Move that bond one carbon over, and you’ve got delta 8 THC. Aside from the location of this covalent bond, delta 8 and delta 9 THC are molecularly identical.
Despite their similarities, delta 8 and delta 9 have noticeably different effects.
Does Delta 8 THC Get You High?
Traditional delta 9 THC can seriously impair mental faculties. The understanding of time can shift, and both auditory and visual perception are often altered by conventional THC. Users also report increased levels of anxiety, as well as the occasional onset of paranoia.
Delta 8, on the other hand, doesn’t appear to produce as pronounced mental effects. It’s still THC and most definitely does get users high, albeit a more mellow and clear-headed buzz than weed smokers may be used to. Some describe delta 8 as simply the more mild version of THC, while others find that the high is completely different. The anecdotal evidence suggests that delta 8 users are overall able to remain active and function closer to normal than those intoxicated by delta 9 THC. Not only are much of the cerebral effects diminished with delta 8, but the dreaded couch lock associated with high THC marijuana doesn’t seem to be an issue with delta 8. Users of delta 8 typically report mild feelings of euphoria, relaxing body sensations, and increased levels of focus.
Is Delta 8 Legal?
Part of why delta 8 has seen such a rapid increase in popularity is due to its legal status. While delta 9 sales are limited to states with pro recreational or medical marijuana laws, delta 8 can be shipped almost everywhere in the country.
The 2018 Farm Bill federally legalized hemp, and hemp-derived compounds such as CBD. The bill itself specifically defines hemp as any cannabis plant that contains less than 0.3% delta 9 THC per dry weight. Since the language specifically refers to delta 9 THC, many have interpreted this to mean that delta 8 is now federally legal.
Ultimately, it’s still up to the individual states to set their own laws regarding delta 8 THC. So far, 11 states (Utah, Rhode Island, Montana, Mississippi, Iowa, Idaho, Delaware, Colorado, Arkansas, Arizona, and Alaska) have elected to ban delta 8.
For the rest of the country, acquiring delta 8 THC is as simple as searching online for delta 8 products and having them shipped directly to your doorstep.
How To Ensure Your Delta 8 Products Are Safe
Cannabis plants only produce an incredibly small amount of delta 8 THC naturally. As a result, the lion’s share of delta 8 products is made from extracts. Even most delta 8 flower you see available for purchase has been infused with delta 8 extract to increase potency.
Purchasing cannabis extracts, particularly novel ones like delta 8 THC, on the internet can feel sketchy. The FDA doesn’t regulate them, and there are plenty of bad actors out there looking to make a buck by misrepresenting quality or cutting by cutting corners. How do you know you’re getting a good product that is safe to consume? A consumer’s most valuable weapon when purchasing any cannabis product is a certificate of analysis (COA). The COA shows that a lab has tested the product you’re about to buy. If a company has spent the time and money to have their products tested, they will likely have the COA accessible on their website. Otherwise, you can reach out via email and request a copy of a specific product’s COA. Here at E1011 Labs we keep our lab results conveniently located on our website, and each batch of Stems comes with a scannable barcode on the front of the packaging that brings up the COA.
When reading a COA, the first thing to check for is who actually conducted the testing. You’ll want to make sure it wasn’t done in-house due to obvious conflicts of interest. It can be helpful to google the name of the lab that performed the tests to confirm it is accredited.
Next, you’ll want to make sure that the lab tested not only for potency but also for microbials, mycotoxins, heavy metals, residual pesticides, and other foreign material. Potency testing is important, but this will ensure your product is safe to consume.