Just because you don’t live in a state with recreational marijuana doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t have access to legal THC.
When most people refer to THC, they’re talking specifically about Delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol—the main compound in cannabis responsible for inducing the plant’s intoxicating effects. However, delta 9 THC isn’t the only form of THC produced by the plant. Another compound known as delta 8 THC has recently taken online cannabis markets by storm.
What is Delta 8?
Delta 8 is a type of THC that exists primarily in extract form. These extracts can be sold in disposable vape carts, tinctures, and infused edibles like delta 8 THC gummies. Cannabis plants only produce incredibly small amounts of delta 8, so you don’t usually find cannabis with high percentages of the cannabinoid. Most delta 8 weed available for purchase, is actually, CBD-rich hemp flower that has been coated or infused with a concentrated form of delta 8, so it’d be delta 8 CBD.
On a chemical level, delta 9 is not so different from its counterpart. The only difference has to do with the location of the double bond in the carbon chain. For delta 9 THC, this bond is located on the ninth carbon. As you could probably guess, in its counterpart, the double bond is found on the eighth carbon.
Will Delta 8 Get You High?
The delta 9 THC we all know and love is infamous for intoxicating effects, but what about delta 8? Can delta 8 THC get you high like conventional THC?
There are over 100 different cannabinoids, and most of them don’t get you stoned. For some patients using cannabis therapeutically, that’s part of the appeal of compounds like CBD or CBN. However, others find that something is missing without the high.
Delta 8 vs Delta 9 High
Unlike most of the other cannabinoids we know about, delta 8 THC definitely comes with a buzz, though not exactly like delta 9 THC.
It turns out that something as small as the location of a covalent bond can have a big impact.
Between both THC’s, the delta 8 effects are described as significantly more mellow. Users report feeling mildly euphoric and relaxing body sensations while remaining sharp and clear-headed. Unlike with delta 9, delta 8 users don’t seem to have brain fog or short-term memory problems. According to some users, it actually helps them stay more focused. The appetite stimulation associated with delta 9, known as “the munchies,” appears to also be present with its counterpart, so be sure to have some snacks on hand.
The delta 9 in traditional marijuana often induces intense mental and cerebral changes. For some, the delta 9 in conventional marijuana comes with exacerbated anxiety, increased feelings of paranoia, and meaningful shifts in perception. Under the influence of delta 9, colors may seem brighter, music may have previously unnoticed qualities, and time may seem to move faster or slower. Anecdotally, many of these mental effects are either greatly diminished or completely non-existent with delta 8 THC product.
Remember, cannabinoids will affect every person differently. When dosing with a new compound, it’s always a good idea to start low and titrate up once you get a feel for the effects.
Is Delta-8 THC Legal?
Three years ago, the 2018 Farm Bill federally legalized hemp to aid our nation’s agricultural economy by reintroducing a new cash crop. As a result, cannabinoids derived from hemp became federally legal as well. This partially explains the explosion of growth the CBD industry has seen in the last few years.
Because of the wording in the bill, delta 8 THC got included in the list of newly federally approved cannabinoids. The farm bill defines hemp as any cannabis plant with less than 0.3% delta 9 THC per dry weight. Since the legislation specifically refers to delta 9 THC and makes no mention of delta 8, it can be interpreted to mean that delta 8 is legal. However, it’s up to each individual state to set its own laws regarding cannabinoids, and so far, eleven states have decided to ban delta 8.