What is Delta 8 THC?
If you’re in the cannabis world and you hear ‘THC’, you are more than likely thinking of the highly psychoactive component within marijuana. But did you know that there are multiple forms of THC and their difference in molecular structure could determine their legality and strength?
Cannabis, as a whole industry, exists in this gray world and its derivatives are no different. In some states, medical and/or recreational use of cannabis is legal, in other states it is illegal. According to the federal government, cannabis use is federally illegal. But, to make the waters even muddier, Hemp is federally legal. Confused yet? Us to! This makes owning a business in the cannabis world incredibly hard, but can be equally as confusing and frustrating for a consumer looking to buy legal cannabis products.
Let’s break it down:
Delta 9 THC
When you think about marijuana and the high that comes along with, what you’re really thinking about is Delta 9 THC. Delta 9 THC refers to the placement of a bond on the 9th Carbon in the molecular structure. It is one of the most notorious cannabinoids found within the cannabis plant. It’s molecular structure is a “perfect fit” for the CB1 and CB2 receptors in our Endocannabinoid System (ECS). This system is responsible for processing cannabinoids.
Due to this “perfect fit” scenario with Delta 9, you get what cannabis users would call a “high”. The higher the percentage of Delta 9 THC in the product, the stronger that “high” will likely get.
What is Delta 8 THC?
PURCHASE DELTA 8 GUMMIES HERE
On the other hand, you have Delta-8 THC. It is a minor cannabinoid found within the cannabis plant. It is structurally different from Delta 9 THC due to a double bond it has on it’s 8th Carbon. This very small difference plays a big role in how this cannabinoid will interact with your ECS. Because of this tiny structural difference, this molecule does not bind as tight with your CB1 and CB2 receptors causing a much more toned down psychotropic effect than what you would get with Delta 9.. This is why I refer to it as “diet weed”.
Delta 8 is being known for its anxiolytic, analgesic, and anti-nausea properties. Most Delta 8 users refer to the experience as a "mild high" with an emphasis on therapeutic properties (anti-anxiety, anti-paranoia, pain relief, etc.) It does not cause the anxiety and paranoia that some users say can be an unpleasant side effect of using cannabis products that contain Delta 9 THC. Because of its half strength psychoactivity, it is allows enough change to calm the brain and relax the body. Its user experience typically lands somewhere between the feeling of CBD and Delta 9 THC. If you ask me, that’s the sweet spot!
Middle ground between Delta9 THC and CBD
Delta 8 THC, really does exist as a somewhat “middle ground” between Delta 9 THC and CBD. While Delta 9 THC is synonymous with getting you high, CBD is synonymous with giving you all of the therapeutic benefits of cannabis WITHOUT the high. I believe that Delta 8 lies somewhere in between those two experiences. If you are looking for something a little stronger than CBD, but aren't ready to jump into the world of full blown marijuana, Delta 8 products are a great stepping stone into the world of THC.
Is it legal?
I know what you’re thinking: “It’s still THC, so isn’t that illegal?” The answer? NO! It is 100% federally legal. Due to the language in the 2018 Farm Bill that made hemp federally legal, all derivates of the plant are also legal, including CBD. Remember in order for hemp to be considered hemp and not marijuana it has to have a Delta 9 THC percentage of no more than 0.3%. With that being said, Delta 8 THC can be a little tricky. If it is derived from the hemp plant, it is legal. If it’s been derived from the marijuana plant, it is illegal. Same exact molecule, but where it comes from makes a WORLD of difference.
What to look for
Currently, Hemp derived products are not FDA regulated meaning it is quite literally the “Wild Wild West of Hemp” out there. There are no regulations and laws determining how hemp derived products are sold, how they are made or quality control. This is important to note because as a buyer, you have to make sure to do your due diligence when purchasing hemp derived products. As always keep these key points in mind:
- Third Party Lab Testing- look at the lab results to ensure you are getting a high quality product and the amount of Delta 8 that is claimed is also in the product.
- Organically Grown- hemp is a natural soil detoxifier, this means it will uptake any impurities in the soil it is planted in and it will come out in your product. An organically grown product is essential for effectiveness and safety.
- Hemp Derived- Make sure your product comes from the hemp plant and not the marijuana plant. While this typically falls on the shoulders of the manufacturer, it is important to seek out hemp companies when searching for a Delta 8 product.
Is Delta 8 legal in my state?
Though it may be federally legal, each state has laws that determine its legality within state lines. As of 2021, here is a list of states and the legality of Delta 8 products in each one:
Alabama: Delta 8 is legal in Alabama
Alaska: Delta 8 is illegal in Alaska
Arizona: Delta 8 is illegal in Arizona
Arkansas: Delta 8 is illegal in Arkansas
California: Delta 8 is legal in California
Colorado: Delta 8 is illegal in Colorado
Connecticut: Delta 8 is legal in Connecticut
Delaware: Delta 8 is illegal in Delaware
Florida: Delta 8 is legal in Florida
Georgia: Delta 8 is legal in Georgia
Hawaii: Delta 8 is legal in Hawaii
Idaho: Delta 8 is illegal in Idaho
Illinois: Delta 8 is legal in Illinois
Indiana: Delta 8 is legal in Indiana
Iowa: Delta 8 is illegal in Iowa
Kansas: Delta 8 is legal in Kansas
Kentucky: Delta 8 is legal in Kentucky
Louisiana: Delta 8 is legal in Louisiana
Maine: Delta 8 is legal in Maine
Maryland: Delta 8 is legal in Maryland
Massachusetts: Delta 8 is legal in Massachusetts
Michigan: Delta 8 is legal in Michigan
Minnesota: Delta 8 is legal in Minnesota
Mississippi: Delta 8 is illegal in Mississippi
Missouri: Delta 8 is legal in Missouri
Montana: Delta 8 is illegal in Montana
Nebraska: Delta 8 is legal in Nebraska
Nevada: Delta 8 is legal in Nevada
New Hampshire: Delta 8 is legal in New Hampshire
New Jersey: Delta 8 is legal in New Jersey
New Mexico: Delta 8 is legal in New Mexico
New York: Delta 8 is legal in New York
North Carolina: Delta 8 is legal in North Carolina
North Dakota: Delta 8 is legal in North Dakota
Ohio: Delta 8 is legal in Ohio
Oklahoma: Delta 8 is legal in Oklahoma
Oregon: Delta 8 is legal in Oregon
Pennsylvania: Delta 8 is legal in Pennsylvania
Rhode Island: Delta 8 is illegal in Rhode Island
South Carolina: Delta 8 is legal in South Carolina
South Dakota: Delta 8 is legal in South Dakota
Tennessee: Delta 8 is legal in Tennessee
Texas: Delta 8 is legal in Texas
Utah: Delta 8 is illegal in Utah
Vermont: Delta 8 is legal in Vermont
Virginia: Delta 8 is legal in Virginia
Washington: Delta 8 is legal in Washington
West Virginia: Delta 8 is legal in West Virginia
Wisconsin: Delta 8 is legal in Wisconsin
Wyoming: Delta 8 is legal in Wyoming
**Please check the legality of your state before you purchase your Delta 8 products. We will not ship to a state that does not allow Delta 8 products**
Will Delta 8 cause a failed drug test?
When you’re being tested for cannabis use, you are typically being tested for THC consumption. While the test itself doesn’t test for Delta 9 THC, it DOES test for the metabolites that come from the THC. Metabolites are the smaller molecules that are left over once your body processes the compound. Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC have some of the same metabolites. This is important to note as regularly using either of these products CAN result in a failed drug test even if they are in smaller doses like a Full Spectrum or Delta 8 only product.
Want to learn more about CBD products and whether or not they will cause a failed drug test? Learn more here!