What is Delta8?
Delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabinol is a lesser-known cannabinoid that is only found in very small amounts in the hemp or cannabis plant. Because of this, Delta-8-THC is most commonly produced by transforming hemp-derived CBD through a process called isomerization. The National Cancer Institute has described Delta 8 as "an analogue of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with antiemetic, anxiolytic, appetite-stimulating, analgesic, and neuroprotective properties."
With an almost identical atomic structure to Delta-9, Delta-8 was largely overlooked by the scientific community until 1995 when Dr. Raphael Mechoulam (commonly referred to as the "godfather of cannabis research") decided to re-examine this mystery molecule for its antiemetic properties and its potential to aid in arresting tumor growth.
Nowadays, Delta 8 infused products are steadily growing in popularity and can be found in most retail locations across the United States.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DELTA-8-TETRAHYDROCANNABINOL AND DELTA 9?
The atomic structure of Delta-8-THC is nearly identical to that of Delta-9-THC, except for the placement of a single atomic bond. To be more specific, the double bond is on the 8th carbon rather than the 9th.
Although very similar to Delta 9, Delta-8-THC interacts with your endocannabinoid system in slightly different ways, producing what is often reported as an anxiety-free, and much more relaxing high. Many regular cannabis users report issues with chronic anxiety and paranoia associated with their cannabis use. This can eventually lead to users avoiding certain strains, lowering the amount they consume, or even quitting entirely. People who switch to Delta 8 almost always report that those feelings of anxiety and unease had vanished entirely.
Perhaps the most glaring difference between the two is their legal status. Currently, 33 out of 50 US states have legalized medical marijuana. Only 11 out of 50 have legalized marijuana for adult recreational use. Even worse, federal law lists cannabis as a Schedule 1 Drug. However, Delta-8-THC is 100% legal under US federal law thanks to H.R. 2: The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, also known as the 2018 Farm Bill. However, check your state's local legislation to ensure it is legal in your state.
DOES DELTA 8 GIVE YOU A BUZZ?
Yes, but in a slightly different way to typical Delta-9-THC. Delta 8 is less potent than traditional THC. Also, the effects of Delta 8 THC do not typically last as long as Delta-9. The biggest difference however, is the absence of paranoia or anxiety. In fact, almost all users report an anxiety-free, and much more relaxing buzz.
DOES DELTA 8 SHOW UP ON A DRUG TEST?
Unlike delta-9 THC, delta-8 itself currently has no federal scheduling. However, it is possible to fail a drug test from use of delta-8, as those tests do not test for specific types of THC, but rather THC metabolites. THC metabolites are the result of the body processing any form of THC. Think of it as finding a Popsicle stick: you know someone ate a Popsicle, but can’t tell the exact flavor. If you need to pass a drug test, keep this in mind.