Loved for its similarity to tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, delta-8 is yet another cannabinoid in cannabis plants. THC is what makes you “high,” resulting in hunger, symptom relief, sleep, euphoria, and everything between. Most cannabis strains contain large quantities of THC. What about delta-8? Just what is delta-8? What does it do? Is it safe? Available for cannabis delivery? Is it even worth the hype?
These two cannabinoid share similar names and similar structures. The scientific name for THC is actually delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or just delta-9 THC, even just delta-9. Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol, or delta-8 THC, or simply delta-8, even causes similar effects to the more famous delta-9. The only notable difference in effects is that delta-8 is significantly less potent.
Both of these cannabinoid are forms of THC. In everyday language, THC typically refers to delta-9, the most recognizable of all for its psychoactive properties. Laws around delta-8 are vague. Both hemp and cannabis plants produce it, but since the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp and all of its derivatives nationwide, delta-8 is technically legal, even if delta-9 is not. Yet.
Almost all delta-8 available today derives from hemp, effectively legalizing it. Those living in states where THC remains illegal are buying delta-8 now in droves, despite it being less potent than delta-9. As a result, many companies are now increasing production to supply this latest demand. Delta-8 products are now on the market. Suppliers are shipping them across the country.
The Differences: Delta-8 THC vs. Delta-9 THC
As with regular THC, delta-8 binds to endocannabinoid receptors throughout the body, which is how it makes you stoned. At a cellular, structural level, both delta-8 and delta-9 have double bonds. These double bonds are responsible for causing the intoxicating effects of being “high.” Only the placement of this double bond differs between them. Literally nothing else.
Both delta-8 and delta-9 have carbon atoms, but delta-8 has its double bond on the eighth carbon. You will find delta-9’s double bond at the ninth. Scientists suspect the location of delta-8’s double bond on a lower carbon the reason for its lesser potency. However, more study is necessary. Nobody yet knows enough about delta-8 and its interactions with the body to conclude much about it.
You will feel stoned on delta-8 THC, certainly. Just not as stoned as you would on delta-9. It gives anyone living in states with illegal cannabis laws a legal way to experience somewhat what THC feels like. Many consumers actually prefer milder cannabis products, even where they can easily access stronger ones. For some, too much THC makes anxious, even paranoid. Most others still need to function well at work.
The effects of delta-8 are very similar to THC. The same really, just not as strong. You will feel energized. There is a sense of euphoria, intense happiness, and even relief from pain and other medical issues. Despite having lesser potency, delta-8 is also capable of helping insomniacs. Very capable. Even side effects are similar. Think dry mouth, munchies, red eyes, even short-term memory loss. You will feel it.
Delta-8 is more like THC than CBD, in its chemical structure, its behavior, and its effects. Delta-8 binds to the endocannabinoid system the same way that THC does. CBD does not bind to endocannabinoid receptors. Instead, it interacts with them to affect certain therapeutic outcomes. Of course, both THC compounds have medical effects all their own, but if you want relief without buzz, CBD might be best.
The majority of folks, at least moderate to heavy cannabis users anyway, might find delta-8 notably weaker than normal THC. If you are a newbie to weed, delta-8 might well affect you very powerfully. Your body chemistry will determine your response to it. In an attempt to increase potency to delta-9 THC levels, a delta-8 edible will typically contain double the regular THC dose:
- The standard THC dosage for edibles is 10 milligrams, consumed either in halves or wholes.
- Delta-8 edibles often contain 25 milligrams, which folks can also halve or consume whole.
With these calculations in mind, it seems reasonable to consider delta-8 half as potent as normal THC. As such, one 25-milligram delta-8 edible might feel like taking 10 milligrams of delta-9. Research is scant into delta-8. It is important to remember this. We are still learning how strong its effects are and just how it works within the body. Always start small. You can always increase the dose later.
Because delta-8 Cannabinoid is still new to market, finding it can prove challenging. This is especially true when sifting through products that often are not what they claim. You want products that actually contain delta-8 if you intend using it. Search “weed delivery near me” in Google, but check the source. Scrutinize manufacturers and suppliers. Learn how they source ingredients and how they make their products.
Tested products of purity and quality typically have batch numbers and QR codes that enable you to find their test results online. Untested products and those with questionable results are unworthy of any attention. Go elsewhere. You have no idea if they even contain any cannabinoid, let alone delta-8. Even worse, they could contain potentially dangerous substances, as well.