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There is a new buzzword when it comes to the hemp and cannabis industries, with a new cannabinoid on the rise. You’ve likely heard of some of the more popular cannabinoids like CBD and THC, but have you learned about Delta-8 THC? This variant of its commonly known cousin tetrahydrocannabinol is making waves among cannabis and hemp connoisseurs alike. So, let’s go over some of the basics: what is delta-8 and is it legal.
To really understand delta-8 THC it helps to understand some of the basics surrounding traditional THC (delta-9 THC) and cannabis.
Cannabis plants, and hemp plants for that matter, are equipped with a multitude of cannabinoids. These are naturally occurring compounds that can bind with receptors throughout the human body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). Cannabinoids can offer a variety of potentially therapeutic effects from stress relief, to improved sleep and even pain management.
Some cannabinoids are more common than others, delta-9 THC being one of the more abundantly found. Simply put, delta-9 THC is most known as the component causing a “high” feeling when cannabis or marijuana is consumed. Delta-9 THC is still illegal on a federal level, though more and more states are revisiting its legality on a yearly basis. Similarly, CBD products made in the US may contain legal trace amounts of delta-9 THC under 0.3% threshold. Because of this designation, made clear in the 2018 Farm Bill, more and more Americans have been able to reap the benefits of CBD without the worry of getting “high.” This possibility is expanded with delta-8.
On a chemical level, delta-8 and delta-9 THC are very similar. They differ based on molecular double-bond that occurs on different carbon chains, the 8th versus the 9th. This small molecular difference creates a big practical impact; delta-8 THC may give you a “buzz” but it will likely be a much milder psychoactive effect than delta-9 THC.
Cannabis enthusiasts have reported that delta-8 THC acts similar to delta-9 THC but with less potent effects. Delta-8 is supposed to give you a more clear-headed feel-good effect, less accompanied by the jitters or anxious side effects associated with delta-9 THC.
Delta-8 is found in much smaller amount is cannabis plants, making it minor cannabinoid. Nonetheless, delta-8 THC can interact with the ECS in some similar ways to THC and CBD. The ECS is a bodily system largely responsible for functions like mood, pain regulation, sleep cycles and more. Delta-8 THC can bind to CB1 receptors within the ECS, but less is known about the bonding with CB2 receptors. The CB1 receptors in the ECS are thought to regulate the psychoactive effects of THC, so the difference in molecular bond found in delta-8 THC and delta-9 THC is highly relevant for consumers.
Users of delta-8 THC have reported similar effects that like of traditional THC, but less amplified. In other words, delta-8 THC could create a desirable middle ground between CBD and traditional THC.
The legality surrounding delta-8 THC is a bit of a grey area, at least for now. Delta-8 THC is not specifically listed as an illegal substance, though on a federal level and still in some state’s delta-9 THC is illegal according to law.
The 2018 Farm Bill has some nuanced positions surrounding THC, stating all hemp and cannabis derived products must have that less than 0.3% delta-9 THC threshold. Because of this, some delta-8 consumers worry delta-8’s rise may be followed by a quick fall. This mostly falls on the wording that the Farm Bill clears for directly hemp-based products, while many delta-8 products are crafted from synthetically-altered CBD.
Some of these issues surrounding legality are a bit fuzzy and the legal status and future of delta-8 THC is uncertain. For now, delta-8 is legal to purchase and order online nationwide. Here at Real Tested CBD, we will do our best to keep you updated and informed on any legal changes to delta-8 THC’s status. For now, check out our tested and tried delta-8 THC products here.