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What is Delta 8?


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What is Delta 8?

The hemp plant (marijuana) has a wealth of compounds with medicinal and recreational properties. 

One of these is D8, also known as Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol. It is derived from the most common cannabinoid Delta 9, also known as tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. Both cannabinoids are psychoactive when ingested, but these effects are milder in Delta 8. 

Here, we delve deeper into what Delta 8 is, exploring how it’s made and how it differs from CBD, THC, and other cannabis compounds. 

Let’s get into it!

What is D8 THC Extract?

The National Cancer Institute defines Delta 8 as a form of Delta 9 THC with a lower psychoactive potency. It is instrumental in treating anxiety, pain, low appetite, and nausea without creating the stereotypical high. 

Both cannabinoids produce this high – albeit with the Delta 8 high having less of a psychotropic effect. The reason they produce this experience is that they both form a chemical bond with the same cannabinoid receptors in the brain. 

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized D8. This compound produces a pleasant, calming, and euphoric vaping experience. It is making a massive name for itself in the cannabis industry with excellent medical and recreational potential with a wide variety of consumers. 

How Is THC Delta 8 Extract Made? 

Hemp companies have been able to extract Delta8 from Delta 9 THC molecules to create a solvent-free distillate. 

Most cannabis plants contain less than 1% Delta 8 and 0.3% Delta 9 THC cannabinoids. Once the cannabis plant is harvested, dried, cured, and trimmed of buds, manufacturers then extract, isolate, synthesize, and refine Delta 8, creating a Delta 8 extract from THC using fractional distillation. 

Once the CBD isolate is extracted, it undergoes a process known as isomerization to yield the Delta-8 distillate. Other legal cannabinoids also produced in the process are: 

  • CBC (Cannabichromene) – said to have help with depression and anti-anxiety
  • CBN (Cannabinol) – a natural analgesic widely known as a cannabis sleep aid
  • CBG (Cannabigerol) – proven to reduce pain relating to headache, glaucoma, and intraocular pressure

This manufacturing process yields a Delta 8 extract containing over 80% Delta 8 THC and can be refined even further to produce a purer distillate. Premium Delta 8 distillates contain on average 95-99% Delta 8 THC, less than 0.3% Delta 9 THC, and are additive and solvent-free.

While all-natural method processing methods are more expensive and time-consuming, they are also safe, and you can be sure that what you’re ingesting is of the highest quality possible.

Is Delta 8 the Same As CBD?

Delta 8 THC and CBD are both cannabinoids; they connect to the same receptors in the brain. However, they are not the same compound. CBD is not psychoactive for starters, and Delta 8 THC is still not as psychotropic as Delta 9 THC. 

However, Delta 8 THC offers much the same benefits as CBD. It has been shown to help with: 

  • Improving appetite
  • Neuroprotective benefits
  • Pain, nausea, and inflammation relief
  • Stress relief

Because of this, D8 is the perfect choice for people who would like more stimulation than CBD but not as intense as Delta 9 THC. It is also found in trace amounts in broad and full-spectrum CBD, but these amounts are so minute that manufacturers cannot legally distill them. 

Does Delta 8 Get You High? How Does the Delta 8 THC Compare to the Delta 9 THC High?

Delta 8 does get you high, but the psychotropic effects are milder and more pleasant compared to those of Delta 9 THC, producing a calmer “buzz.”

Both Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC (commonly referred to as THC) are cannabinoids, and both these compounds differ from CBD isolate, which is not psychoactive. 

The difference between the Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC molecule is that Delta 9 binds only to the CB1 receptor while Delta 8 binds to both CB1 and CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system. As such, ingesting Delta 9 THC gives you that cannabis “high,” but with the accompanying cloudiness, anxiety, paranoia, and dry mouth and eyes, which many people detest. 

In contrast, Delta 8 THC binds to these receptors in the central nervous system but does not cause these undesirable effects; this cannabinoid produces a mild and clear psychoactive “high” coupled with an energizing effect on the body. 

The Delta 8 THC “high” feels smooth, pleasant, and calming with no anxiety, paranoia, or psychosis, all prominent symptoms associated with Delta 9 THC’s high dosages. The effects of D8 also take longer to set in than D9 and last half as long as D9. 

How Should You Use Delta 8 THC?

The standard ingestible Delta 8 products are edibles, tinctures, and vape cartridges. 

Typical oral doses range between 10-25 mg. If orally ingesting Delta 8 gummies, experts recommend taking 5-10mg doses, waiting for several hours, and then increasing the dosage if necessary. Oral ingestion may take some time for the effect to be felt. 

Vaping Delta 8, another form of ingesting and using the compound, delivers a much more immediate effect, usually within six minutes. When vaping Delta 8, 1-2-second puffs are recommended, followed by a 10-minute wait before increasing the dose if needed. 

The duration of Delta 8 THC effects varies from one person to another and depends on the concentration of the product. High purity vapes can last, on average, 1 – 4 hours, with the effect of edibles and tinctures lasting on average 5 – 12 hours.

The Medicinal Benefits of Hemp-Derived Delta 8 THC

Below are some proven medicinal benefits of Delta 8 THC:

Increased Appetite 

Researchers have analyzed the effects of Delta 8 on appetite control. 

In a 2004 study, mice were put through a weightless regimen, not consuming as much food as they should. 

After giving these mice Delta-8-THC, researchers noticed a significant improvement in their cognitive function and food consumption. They concluded that low doses of Delta-8-THC showed substantial therapeutic potential for treating loss of appetite and weight loss disorders. 

Reduced Nausea and Sickness

In a 1995 research study, children from ages 3-13 years old with hematologic cancer had significantly reduced nausea and sickness related to their chemotherapy treatments while not showing any adverse or psychoactive effects when given Delta 8 THC.

Thus, D8 THC may have significant potential as an anti-nauseant or anti-emetic. 

Inflammation and Pain Relief

A more recent 2018 study highlighted the effects Delta 8 has on inflammation and pain reduction in mice. 

Researchers linked these benefits to Delta 8’s effect on the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain. 

Is There A Demand for Delta 8 THC?

Delta 8 THC use is on the rise among cannabis users, both seasoned and beginner alike.

The current D8 market in the US is valued at $6 billion. D8 tinctures, gel caps, and distillates are becoming increasingly popular. This compound is most prevalent in vape cartridges, which enable users to gently vape using vape pens for a pleasant and calming effect.

Is Delta 8 Federally Legal?

In the United States, D8 derived from hemp is legal everywhere CBD is thanks to The 2018 Hemp Farm Bill. 

This legislation allows for the manufacturing and selling of hemp products containing less than 0.3% Delta 9-THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).

But there’s the small matter of legality in some US states. Local and state regulatory laws differ, with some banning all cannabis products, including CBD). 

These states include:

  • Arkansas
  • Alaska
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Iowa
  • Idaho
  • Montana
  • Mississippi
  • Nevada
  • Nebraska
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah

If you live in these states, you cannot legally ship D8 to your location, so always check before placing your order. However, state legislators may change this law in the future, so always check with the local county and state laws before shipping to your location.

 It is also essential to note that even though D8 is legal in some states, it is derived from THC and may give false positives on drug tests. Therefore, you should not use D8 if you are scheduled to undergo a drug test or when driving and operating heavy machinery. 

Are Delta 8 Products Safe?


As with anything cannabis and CBD, you must understand what constitutes the product before consuming it. Not all manufacturers are as transparent as others.

Unfortunately, some may use non-USDA-approved hemp, harmful synthetic additives and chemicals, and sub-par manufacturing processes to save on cost. 

Since D8 isn’t FDA-approved, you must do your due diligence to find a company that produces products with few (if any) undesirable side effects.

To be sure you have a safe product from a reputable company – be it gummies, tinctures, or vapes – check for the following: 

  • High-quality US-grown hemp plants and cannabis flower
  • All-natural ingredients and terpenes only
  • Zero artificial fillers and cutting ingredients
  • All-natural CO2 extraction, fractional distillation, and isomerization processing
  • Full information on independent third party test results and lab reports
  • Made in reputable manufacturing facilities with ISO Standards, API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient), and CGMP (Current Good Manufacturing Practice) Certifications
  • Bought from a retailer with a website and easily-found phone number or email address should you have queries. 

Bottom Line

The stability and efficacy of hemp-derived D8 THC make it an incredibly valuable cannabinoid with huge potential to serve both the medical and recreational market. 

It is one of the most researched cannabis derivatives on the market and illustrates the hemp plant’s chemical constituents’ power. However, many hemp companies are reluctant to offer Delta 8 THC products on their menu as the compound’s long-term effects on the body are unknown. 

However, hemp companies are continually improving their manufacturing processes to ensure they produce an all-natural cannabis-derived product that’s high-quality with as few adverse effects as possible.

With many cannabis consumers raving about the pleasant 8 THC Delta high, it’s no wonder that it is becoming a game-changer, which may dominate the vaping sub-market.

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