Everything You Need to Know About Delta-8 THC
Delta-8 THC (“Delta-8”) is becoming increasingly common in smoke shops and dispensaries across the country following the 2018 Farm Bill which paved the way for Delta-8 and other hemp products to enter most American markets. It is very similar to Delta-9 THC (“Delta-9”) at the molecular level and produces the same general effects for most people that Delta-9 does, although it is typically not as potent. For most people, more Delta-8 is needed than Delta-9 to produce the same effects.
But what exactly is Delta-8 THC? Here’s everything you need to know about this cannabinoid: its benefits, how it works, and safety.
What Is Delta-8 THC?
Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the psychoactive cannabinoid found in the hemp plant. Historically, the phrase “THC” has been used when referencing Delta-9 THC, as it is the only “major cannabinoid” in the THC family, which means that it is found in abundance in many strains of cannabis plants. Delta-8 THC is a minor cannabinoid (found in lesser quantities in plants) that has gained popularity thanks to its legal status in many areas and close relationship to Delta-9.
Delta-8 was first synthesized in the 1960s, but research into all cannabinoids, including all forms of THC, has been highly restricted until very recently, making for a scarcity of scientific data that will be rectified in the coming years.
Delta-8 vs. Delta-9 THC
Given their very similar molecular composition, the main difference between Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC is in their potency. As mentioned, Delta-8 is only half as potent as Delta-9, producing milder psychoactive effects on a milligram for milligram basis.
Delta-8 THC is also shorter-acting than Delta-9, with effects typically lasting a few hours. For most people, Delta-8 THC is not as intense as Delta-9 which can lead to a more pleasant experience as a result. Please note that it is impossible to make any blanket statements about any cannabinoids as people metabolize them all differently. When we make statements regarding effects or potency, we are speaking about the average person based on all the knowledge available to us. There are people at either ends of the spectrum: some for whom Delta-8 does nothing at all and others for whom Delta-8 is stronger than Delta-9.
As a result of the potency difference, Delta-8 THC is less likely to cause anxiety and paranoia. This results in a gentler high when dosed appropriately.
Benefits of Delta-8 THC
Users of Delta-8 THC report feeling relaxed and happy with lower levels of stress. Some say it helps them focus and boosts creative energy. Here are the other reported benefits of the product:
- Analgesic: Reduces pain, making it a potential treatment for conditions like arthritis and migraines.
- Anti-inflammatory: Reduces inflammation, which can be helpful for afflictions such as arthritis and sciatica as well as conditions like Crohn’s disease and colitis.
- Anti-nausea & appetite stimulant: Reduces nausea and vomiting and increases appetite, ideal for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
- Anxiety relief: Eases anxiety and encourages relaxation, effective for anxiety disorders and PTSD.
- Neuroprotective effects: Preliminary data suggests that it may help protect the brain from damage.
Delta-8 THC offers a number of potential benefits with relatively few side effects. Many people report no adverse side effects when dosing responsibly/appropriately.
How Delta-8 THC Works
Delta-8 THC works by binding to the CB1 receptors in the brain. These are the same receptors targeted by Delta-9 THC, but Delta-8 THC has less affinity for them. This is what makes it less potent.
The CB1 receptors are what deliver the psychoactive effects of THC to the body. When Delta-8 THC binds to them, it causes a milder high that is less likely to cause anxiety or paranoia.
In addition to the CB1 receptors, Delta-8 THC also binds to the CB2 receptors. These are found throughout the body and are responsible for THC’s anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.
Safety Reminders for Delta-8 Users
Delta-8 THC is generally safe, but as with any drug, responsible use is critical. Some potential side effects of Delta-8 THC include:
- Anxiety or paranoia: Delta-8 THC is less likely to cause anxiety or paranoia than Delta-9 THC but as the dose of D8 increases beyond what is optimal for you, so to does the chance for anxiety
- Dry mouth: Delta-8 THC can cause dry mouth, so stay hydrated.
- Fatigue: Delta-8 THC can cause fatigue for some. If this is true for you, or if you don’t yet know, it’s best to use it in the evening or at night.
- Slow reaction time: Delta-8 THC can cause slower reaction times, so avoiding driving or operating heavy machinery after ingesting Delta-8 products.
Consult a doctor first if you intend to use Delta-8 THC for medical purposes or have any existing conditions. Use it in moderation to avoid adverse side effects.
Different Types of Delta-8 Products
Delta-8 edibles are gummies,cookies, or any other food item that is infused with Delta-8 THC. They’re a convenient and easy way to get your fix. Each gummy typically consists of 20-25 mg of plant-based Delta-8 THC. If it’s your first time using this product, start with a half (12.5 mg) to a quarter (6.25 mg) dose and build up from there.
Tinctures are liquid extracts that are meant to be absorbed sublingually (under your tongue) for quicker onset of effects but they can also be added to food or drinks and metabolized through the digestive tract. They typically come in a 30 ml bottle and contain 1,000 mg of Delta-8 THC.
Each dropper contains approximately 33.3 mg of Delta-8. Start with a half dropper and increase as needed.
Vaping is one of the most popular ways to consume Delta-8. There are many varieties of disposable vape units that require no accessories as well as cartridges that you can use with a battery device (a vape “pen”). They’re available in various flavors and strengths.
If you’re new to vaping, take one puff and wait for at least 30 minutes before taking another. This will give you time to see how it affects you.
Delta-8 flower consists of non-psychoactive cannabis flower (hemp) infused with Delta-8 THC. It is typically sold as loose flower or in pre-rolled form (joints). If you are a novice, start with 2-3 inhalations and wait for 20- 30 minutes before smoking more.
A less popular form of Delta-8, wax (“shatter”, “budder”, “diamonds”, etc) is a concentrated form typically used in dab rigs. Note that the THC concentration in wax is usually in excess of 80%. Not for rookies!
What Delta-8 Product Should I Use?
We recommend beginners stick with gummies, tinctures, or vape oil. These products are relatively easy to use and offer a consistent dose of Delta-8. Once you’re more familiar with how the product affects you, you’ll be in a better position to experiment with other products.
Is Delta-8 Legal?
Delta-8 was made legal at the federal level following the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill and is explicitly legal here in North Carolina following the passage of SB 455 here in August of 2022. While it is legal in more states than it is not, the laws in this area are changing rapidly. Please check the law in your jurisdiction to determine the legal status of Delta-8 THC where you live.
FAQs About Delta-8 THC
- Is Delta-8 for sale in stores?
Yes, you can find Delta-8 products in stores across the United States. However, availability may vary depending on the laws in your area.
- Is Delta-8 synthetic?
Delta-8 THC exists naturally in cannabis plants but only in trace amounts. Companies that make Delta-8 products (like ours) purchase Delta-8 distillate, which contains only material that was harvested from plants, from processing facilities that work with large volumes of biomass (harvested plant matter).
- Is Delta-8 legal in all 50 states?
No, some states have placed restrictions on Delta-8. Be sure to check your local laws before using them.
- How long does Delta-8 high last?
The effects of Delta-8 typically last for 3-8 hours. However, this can vary depending on the product used and your unique physiology, like your metabolic rate.
- What does Delta-8 smell like?
Delta-8 distillate has a similar aroma to Delta-9 distillate. Neither of them have much, if any, scent in the amounts contained in the products purchased by consumers
- What does Delta-8 taste like?
Again, this will depend on the product used and the associated terpenes. The stronger the product, the more noticeable the taste. In gummies, there is a slightly bitter aftertaste in the higher potency varieties. Lower concentration gummies have little, if any, noticeable taste. Tinctures can have more of an earthy flavor, depending on the production method. They can often have very little or no flavor as well.
- Does Delta-8 show up on a drug test?
- How long does Delta-8 stay in your system?
The half-life of Delta-8 THC is highly variable, with reports ranging from 40 minutes to 7 hours. How long it is detectable in your body depends on how often you consume Delta-8 products and the type of test being administered.
Delta-8 is a potent cannabinoid that offers users a unique high. Using responsibly provides excellent relief from pain, anxiety, and other symptoms. Just be sure to check your local laws before using it, as it is not legal in all states.
If it’s your first use, start with a low dose and increase as needed to avoid taking too much. Have fun and be safe!
Your Trusted Source For All Things Delta-8
Delta Elev8 carries a wide range of high-quality Delta-8 products. Whether you’re looking for gummies, tinctures, vape oil, or chocolate bars, we are fully stocked to meet your needs.