When talking about the potentials of cannabis and its cannabinoids, two of the most popular chemical compounds found in the plant always come up namely cannabidiol and delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly known as THC. What many people neglect to recognize is that there are more than 130 cannabinoids in the plant.
One of these is the lesser-known delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-8 THC), which is different from the more commonly known delta-9 THC. This compound recently gained popularity and many members of the cannabis community are becoming more interested in trying it out. If you are one of these people, here’s what you need to know.
Introducing Delta-8 THC
Delta-8 THC is a psychoactive compound present in the cannabis plant. It bears a similar structure to delta-9 THC, more commonly known as simply THC. Both cannabinoids have a double bond in their carbon chains, however, they have differences that influence how it affects consumers. This variance rests on the placement of the double bond. For delta-8 THC, the double bond is found on the eighth carbon chain, while it is located in the ninth double chain in delta-9 THC. Delta-8 is also considered more stable than delta-9.
Given these differences, the two compounds also have slightly varying effects on consumers. When talking about these properties, it is first important to talk about the effects of psychoactive agents, seeing that the delta-8 and -9 THC are both psychoactive chemicals. These compounds are known to produce a high that offers a euphoric and sedated feeling. However, the effects of delta-8 are much milder than delta-9.
Another essential difference between the two is that delta-9 is found in abundance in the cannabis plant, while delta-8 is not. In fact, there are no significant concentrations of delta-8 in the plant, but most especially in the hemp variety. What many manufacturers do to produce delta-8 supplies is to make it from CBD.
So, Where Can You Get It?
In the topic of legality in the United States, the first thing we need to talk about is the 2018 Farm Bill and its implications. This law delisted hemp from the list of illicit crops, allowing farmers to legally cultivate, harvest, and sell hemp which is known as a high-CBD and low-THC plant. The law defines hemp as a cannabis plant with only 0.3% THC or less. This technically makes it federally legal to consume hemp in all forms, particularly extracted CBD, which can be used to create delta-8 THC. Delta-9 can also be converted to delta-8 THC.
However, it is important to remember that particular states have created laws that specifically outlaw particular substances such as CBD, delta-8, and delta-9 THC. Currently, there are 12 states that prohibit delta-8 THC namely Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Kentucky, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, Rhode Island, and Utah. Alabama, North Dakota, and Oregon are looking into bills to ban it.
The rest of the states either allowed the distribution and consumption of this substance or have no specific laws to prohibit it. Interestingly, the United States Hemp Authority, which certifies hemp products, did not endorse delta-8 products as they are marketed for their psychoactive effects. Moreover, the agency takes a stand that the law only allows a total THC concentration of 0.3%, and with delta-8 being a THC compound, products cannot exceed this threshold.
The Bottom Line
The laws surrounding delta-8 THC as of this moment remains hazy, especially as hemp products are considered legal only through technicality. Nevertheless, consumers in states where cannabis is fully legal can definitely go out and try what delta-8 products have to offer and see the difference for themselves.