What is Delta-8? Our Top 5 Things to Know About Delta-8
Published on 3/7/22
As the people around the country become more and more familiar with the idea of a thriving, legal cannabis industry, more products will pop up via innovations in and around that legal multi-billion dollar industry. One of those innovations and newly hyped products is Delta-8 THC.
Now, if you're not exactly sure what Delta-8 is, haven't used it yourself, or maybe have just seen signs at your local tobacco outlet, head shop, or holistic health food store with stuff like "Delta-8 for sale here" without looking into it any further, you're not alone. Maybe you've heard about this product because of the early links between Delta-8 and cancer treatment? Or maybe, like many reading this, haven't heard about Delta-8 THC at all!
This article is going to break down in detail what exactly Delta-8 products are, what the early research does and does not say about their potential medical and widespread recreational uses, what you should keep in mind before using or trying Delta-8 products yourself, and when and how you can get your hands on some Delta-8 infused products. Let's get right into it, shall we?
What is Delta-8
Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol, or Delta-8 THC for short, is the new hotshot cannabinoid that everyone is keeping an eye on. Like Delta-9 THC, the THC that most people are familiar with already, and CBD, Delta-8 is a cannabinoid naturally derived from the cannabis plant. And just like Delta-9 THC, Delta-8 has powerful psychoactive effects on users. However, the key difference between Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC is that while Delta-9 THC is still deemed federally illegal and can't be purchased and used recreationally nationwide, Delta-8 is fully legal.
So why is Delta-8 legal while standard cannabis products packed with Delta-9 THC aren't? Well, the answer to that is a bit of a complicated legal grey area. Let's start out with the basics.
Firstly, while it's important to note that while recreational and medical cannabis legalization has come a long way since California voters approved the medical marijuana Compassionate Use Act of 1996, the battle for full-on nationwide legalization of cannabis is still very much raging. Despite 15 states having legalized adult recreational cannabis markets and 36 states having established regulated medical programs, some jurisdictions in the country have yet to come around on the money-making and medical potential of the weed.
Long story short, there are still many places in the country where people would be put in jail for a long, long time just for smoking a little bit of weed and trying to unwind after a long day of work. That's where Delta-8 THC comes in!
The Legal Grey Area of Delta-8 Products
Considered a "minor cannabinoid" because of its lessened psychoactive effects compared to Delta-9 THC, Delta-8 is legal nationwide for the same reason as hemp. Thanks to the language in the 2018 Farm Bill, Delta-8 products are perfectly legal despite being derived from the cannabis plant because its Delta-9 THC levels are below .3 percent, just like hemp-derived CBD. So just like hemp-derived CBD products, they can be sold legally on the shelves at any pharmacy, drug store, or health food store in the nation. It's a loophole that gives people, particularly states that still restrict both recreational and medical access to cannabis, a legal way to get high without worrying about the law.
Top Five Things to Know About Delta-8 THC
So now that you know what Delta-8 is, where it comes from, and that it's legal, what else is there to know about the product? Well, just like most topics we cover that are related to cannabis here at Where's Weed, there are some important facts and figures to keep in mind before you try Delta-8 THC for yourself.
Let's get into those five things now!
Will Delta-8 THC Get You High?
Yes, it will. Like regular THC, products containing Delta-8 THC have a psychoactive effect on users. While the high associated with Delta-8 THC isn't as strong as the high you'd get from using or consuming products infused with standard THC, it still packs enough of a punch. Delta-8 users typically experience relief from pain, insomnia, anxiety, and nausea when using the products. Usually, they suffer similar downsides to standard cannabis use like the munchies, short-term memory issues, and a little bit of paranoia.
Research On Delta-8 Is Still Very, Very Early
While researchers have been fast at work in figuring out what we currently know about Delta-8 THC, we still don't know much about it for sure. Researchers are much more certain about both the long and short-term effects of those who use cannabinoid compounds like standard Delta-9 THC and CBD. Delta-8, on the other hand, is more of a mystery.
Organizations like the FDA, for example, are quick to point out that not only have they not had the proper time required to do comprehensive research on Delta-8, but they can't verify that it's harmless in the same way they can about CBD. While it's true pretty much universally that more research needs to be done when it comes to cannabis and cannabinoids in general, Delta-8 THC is on the cutting edge of even that. Just something to consider before going crazy with the use of Delta-8.
Delta-8 THC Has Shown Some Potential as Medicine
It should not shock our readers that cannabis has medical uses. Long-term, well-funded studies have shown the effects that cannabis can have on people suffering from anxiety, pain, autoimmune issues, and many more. Some early research on Delta-8 has shown its potential as medicine as well.
While the claims of this cannabinoid being some type of delta-8 cancer cure are likely overinflated, Delta-8 cancer treatment has been shown to have some merit. For those going through chemo, Delta-8 proved to be an effective way of reducing their nausea and promoting their appetite without getting them as high as they would be if they consumed standard THC. It's also worth noting that Delta-8 THC has a longer shelf life than traditional THC-infused products, which means it could be used more effectively as medicine long-term.
The bottom line is that THC, Delta-8 in particular, has shown potential to help cancer patients. That alone is worth supporting more research being done into its potential.
Users Have Reported Adverse Effects of Delta-8
While everything surrounding cannabis and cannabinoids reported by the federal government deserves a closer look and a certain degree of skepticism, it's impossible to ignore that people misusing Delta-8 has led to some significant health complications.
The following stats are pulled from the National Poison Control Center's reported Delta-8 THC incidents. Of the total of 661 exposure cases reported, all but one case occurred between January 1, 2021, and July 31, 2021. What's even more worrisome is that 77 percent of those cases affected those under the age of 18. In about 41 percent of those cases, the kid took Delta-8 THC without even knowing what they were ingesting. This is a clear and serious issue.
Whenever something that can get you high can be legally bought in stores, there's always the likelihood of minors abusing that product. All minors should not use any type of cannabis product unless it's in medical form and prescribed by a licensed cannabis doctor.
The Delta-8 THC Industry is Still Largely Unregulated
Due to its grey area legal status, lack of FDA approval, and the early nature of the research on Delta-8, it's fair to say that the production standards for Delta-8 THC are still all over the place. Just like the early CBD market, there's no governing body that's testing Delta-8 products to make sure that they're safe, effective, and actually contain the cannabinoids that the package says they do. You, as a user, need to trust that company producing that particular product isn't cutting corners when it comes to product quality and customer safety. If those companies are willing to cut corners, then that means Delta-8 products could contain dangerous chemicals as a result of cutting corners during the extraction process. Just like with CBD, make sure that you do your research. When it comes to Delta-8, where to buy it is an incredibly important question to consider.
Have you tried Delta 8? What are your thoughts? Let us know below.