What is Delta 8?

Posted by Dr. Dan Kush on

What is THC Delta 8?

THC Delta 8 (D8, Delta 8, or Delta 8 THC), is a cannabinoid that can be derived naturally from hemp. Many people describe Delta 8 as giving you body high without the mind high. Think of it as a step between CBD and THC.

The cannabinoid we all think of as THC (the one gets you high in weed) is known specifically as THC Delta 9.

Is Delta 8 Psychoactive?

Unlike CBD, which is totally non-psychoactive, THC Delta 8 does produce noticeably psychoactive affects. Compared to THC Delta 9, users report they are often milder, more centric on the body, and less anxiety-inducing.

This has made Delta 8 attractive for people who are overwhelmed by the THC Delta 9 in cannabis, but find that CBD just doesn’t quite cut it for their medicinal, physical, or psychological needs.

Is Delta 8 Legal?

Delta 8 is technically legal at the federal level, as it is derived from hemp. However, many states have moved to either ban it specifically or alter the verbiage of their laws to include it. 

This has led to a lot of confusion, and a limbo period in which Delta 8 finds itself a highly controversial hot topic.

THC Delta 8’s initial rise in popularity was born out of the “hemp boom.” With the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp and anything naturally derived from hemp was federally legal.

Cannabis itself is just a plant. The cannabinoid THC Delta 9 itself is classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, and that’s what they test for in drug screens. Hemp, of course, is technically still cannabis— just with less than 0.3% THC Delta 9, so as to remain Farm Bill compliant.

The cannabis plant— and, by extension, hemp— contains an entire universe of cannabinoids. You have the popular ones, like CBD. Or THC Delta 9.

THC Delta 8 is a step below THC Delta 9. But there’s also THC Delta 7. And THC Delta 10. CBN. CBG.

Behind the veil of the nug lies an unexplored frontier. There could be hundreds of cannabinoids waiting for us. It’s the wild west— which is an apropos metaphor in more ways than one.

One of the many reasons why our current moment in cannabis history is so interesting is because many of these cannabinoids can be derived from hemp. Hemp, and anything derived from hemp, is federally legal in all 50 states.

This includes THC Delta 8. Smoke shops all across the US have taken advantage of this technicality by stocking their shelves with edibles, concentrates, and even distillate-sprayed hemp flower.

But, like we said, THC Delta 8 is technically psychoactive. Local lawmakers at the state level have taken notice of what they consider “loopholes,” and began to close them.

The cannabis law landscape is changing so rapidly that, by the time you finish this article, the law will probably be different. A year ago, THC Delta 8 was legal in all 50 states, and no one really even knew what it was. Now, it’s completely banned in nearly half.

The great thing about cannabis is that it contains a lot of cannabinoids. Where there’s a Delta 8, there’s a Delta 10, and a Delta 7, and so on and so forth. We’re just beginning to go through doors that, years ago, we didn’t even know were there to begin with.

And when one door closes, another opens.

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