Will Delta-8 THC Be Off the Shelves Soon?
Published on May 6, 2021
CBD has been a nationwide trend for the last few years and it doesn't show any signs of slowing down, but what comes after CBD? When is the next big thing going to start flying off the shelves? Delta-8 THC has been making rounds in the cannabis community as exactly that: the next big thing after CBD. Grassroots efforts are already taking shape to fully legalize this next big thing in cannabis. Let's take a look at what Delta-8 THC is, how it differs from other cannabis compounds and what its future in the cannabis industry looks like.
What is the 2018 Farm Bill?
While CBD has been popular much longer than just the last three years, it wasn't until 2018 that it was federally legal. The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (aka The Farm Bill) removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, the first time this has happened since the Act's creation. Under this law, CBD produced from hemp that contains less than 0.3% THC is federally legal to produce, sell and use (anything that contains more THC than that is considered an illegal substance). Additionally, the Farm Bill broadened what is considered "hemp." Of course, when this Act passed, the nationwide use of CBD skyrocketed. So, what do the Farm Bill and CBD have to do with Delta 8 THC? First, we need to know what Delta 8 THC is.
What is Delta 8 THC?
Cannabis is made up of over 400 chemical compounds, and Delta 8 THC is just one of them. When we discuss THC, we are normally talking about Delta-9 THC, the most prolific psychoactive compound in cannabis that is abundant in marijuana. Delta-9 THC is usually extracted from the marijuana plant, with only small traces of less than 0.3% found in most hemp. Delta-8 THC is found in trace amounts in both hemp and marijuana plants. If a hemp plant is deemed legal by the Farm Bill standards, Delta-8 can be extracted from it and concentrated to make a variety of products. There are Delta 8 gummies, vapes, topicals and many other consumption methods on the market. However, because it takes a lot more processing to get a usable amount of Delta-8 out of hemp, such products are usually more expensive than CBD.
What are the Effects of Delta 8 THC?
Delta 8 THC has a lot of the same effects as Delta 9 THC. It is psychoactive and is known to provide an enjoyable, mellow, body high. It has been used to treat nausea, stimulate the appetite and help with the side effects of cancer, depression, insomnia and other conditions. It should be noted that there are very few studies to scientifically back these medical benefits, but there are many users and medical professionals who swear by its effects. The difference between Delta 8 vs Delta 9 THC is potency. Delta 9 THC is much more potent and will provide a much quicker, more intense high. However, to make Delta-8 THC an even more attractive cannabis alternative, it is also thought to not cause the paranoia or anxiety that some feel when using traditional marijuana products.
Where Can You Buy Delta 8 THC?
The Farm Bill makes all hemp legal unless it has more than 0.3% THC, but the loophole is that Delta-8 THC has a slightly different structure than the Delta-9 THC targeted by federal restrictions under the Controlled Substances Act. This means that it is "technically" not federally illegal. So, while there is a handful of states that have specifically banned Delta 8 THC (such as North Dakota), it easy enough to search for "Delta 8 THC near me" and either find it at a local head shop or have it delivered. For specific state-by-state information, we suggest you go to your local headshop and ask if they have Delta 8 THC for sale to see what's available. Please do note these products will not be FDA-approved, so it is highly recommended that you talk to a medical professional and do research on which brands source quality products before you purchase and use Delta-8 THC.
The Future of the Farm Bill and What Comes Next
Between the reported medical benefits, the anti-anxious, mellow high and its loophole legality, it's no wonder that Delta-8 THC is becoming increasingly popular. In 2020, Delta 8 sales skyrocketed and it looks like the trend is going to continue if companies have anything to say about it. Many advocates within the cannabis industry are fighting for the Farm Bill to define THC more clearly as specifically Delta-9 THC, therefore legalizing Delta-8. Unfortunately, the DEA and FDA have so far been unwavering in claiming that the cannabis industry doesn't have a good argument and is working to solidify delta-8 THC as a Schedule I substance. So, the future of Delta-8 is shaky at the moment, with threats of that gray area quickly turning black-and-white and not in favor of users.
Are you a fan of Delta-8 THC? Let us know why, how you think it's going to impact legislation and what its future looks like in America. Comment below!