In this article, we take a look at what is Delta-8 THC, as well as a number of questions you may have around this new and wildly popular cannabinoid.
What is Delta-8 THC?
Structurally very similar to the regular THC you have probably encountered before, delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a psychoactive cannabis compound. It is an isomer of delta-9 THC, meaning it has a slightly different atomic arrangement than the principal compound in the cannabis plant that causes euphoria, happiness, symptom relief, and produces a “high.”
Delta-8 and delta-9 THC are similar, but hemp-derived delta-9 THC is the one people are usually talking about when they mention cannabis, and the compounds have a slightly different chemical structure. Most marijuana strains contain higher THC levels, but in its delta-8 form, THC is far less potent.
Delta-8 vs Delta-9 THC: What’s the Difference?
Both delta-8 THC and delta-9 THC bind with receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The high feelings and intoxicating effects THC is known for are produced by this binding action. In fact, all cannabinoids and terpenes interact with the ECS in their own ways.
Chemically, the structure of the molecules is similar in ways that are related to intoxicating effects; delta-8 and delta-9 THC both have a double bond chain of atoms that contributes to these effects but where it is placed differs chemically from molecule to molecule. But the chains are located on different carbons, which changes the nature of the effects based on how they bind to the ECS.
And while both delta-8 and delta-9 produce the types of THC effects cannabis is known for, delta-9 THC produces more intense effects because it occurs in higher concentrations in cannabis. So while delta-8 creates a similar happy, euphoric buzz, overall it produces a milder high.
In fact, you can also expect other THC side effects such as paranoia, anxiety, and drowsiness to be significantly less of a problem. This is why many people call delta-8 THC “marijuana-lite” or “diet weed.”
Delta-8 vs Cannabidiol (CBD)
Delta-8 THC is far more similar to delta-9 THC than cannabidiol or CBD for reasons that are probably obvious. It both produces that high feeling and its chemical structure is nearly identical. And CBD is non-intoxicating, because it doesn’t bind as readily with the endocannabinoid system, although it certainly offers medicinal benefits.
However, these differences can mean that CBD makes a good alternative to delta-8 THC for some consumers. If you want effects that are somewhat like THC but less potent, you’re probably thinking delta-8 is a decent place to start.
Does Delta-8 Get You High?
Yes, but compared to the standard delta-9 THC, a delta-8 high is a lighter, milder high. Delta-8 may be a safer way to experience some THC-like effects for people living where cannabis is illegal.
Some marijuana fans actually like less intoxicating cannabis products more, such as those delta-8 THC products or high-CBD strains, even when they can get standard THC products. For many medical marijuana patients and recreational cannabis users alike, THC can produce anxiety, paranoia, and other negative side-effects. A milder, smoother, more energizing delta-8 high may help some users avoid the more negative experiences of delta-9 THC.
Effects of Delta-8 THC
People who use delta-8 THC products say they experience similar effects to the ones you’d expect with THC, such as mild euphoria, feeling happy and uplifted.
In terms of side effects, delta-8 THC is once again similar to what you’d predict with delta-9 THC, including dry mouth, short-term memory trouble, red eyes, and the munchies. And although side effects like anxiety and paranoia are reportedly less common with delta-8 THC, the quantity of any kind of THC matters. Remember, too, that there’s an exceptionally meager quantity of research on delta-8 THC and its effects on the body and mind, and that’s even acknowledging how little there is on cannabis generally.
Where Can You Get Delta-8 THC?
It’s not always easy to find high-quality delta-8 THC products since the substance itself is relatively new to the market. Your goal is always to find products that actually contain delta-8 but don’t include any unwanted additives or contaminants. Check delta-8 websites for manufacturing details and information on sourcing raw materials. Look for evidence of quality testing in the form of a batch number or QR code or another form of transparent information, like we offer here.
Of course many dispensaries carry delta-8 THC products. Over-the-counter delta-8 THC products are also sold at gas stations, convenience stores, online, and at vape and head shops. They come in many forms, as edibles like candies, beverages, gummies, smokables (like joints), multi-use products like tinctures and oils, and for the vape crowd, in carts and vaping pens.
Remember, be a cautious, skeptical consumer. There is no regulation over what is in these products. And although delta-8 THC products and CBD products may both be available in a lot of the same places, they are not the same. Don’t confuse them.
How Much Delta-8 THC Should I take?
No matter whether it’s delta-8 THC or any other kind, starting low and going slow is always a good idea. Remember to wait a while before taking more–at least 60 minutes after eating a gummy is generally recommended.
Delta-8 THC may feel somewhat weaker and milder than THC normally does, particularly for people with cannabis experience. However, especially for those new to cannabis, and depending on your body chemistry, delta-8 THC may have a real impact on you.
Can I Get Delta-8 in the Mail?
You can receive delta-8 THC products from retailers in the mail in most states, but because of its unusual legal status, some producers ship selectively. Always confirm before placing an order.
Delta-8 THC producers will typically ship to any state except these:
- Rhode Island
Will You Test Positive for THC if You Consume Delta-8?
Yes! You can test positive for THC, because remember: delta-8 is a type of THC. In general, depending on the drug test, it is detecting traces of delta-9 THC and its metabolite, but any THC including delta-8 could test positive on a drug test.
Right now, most commercially-used urine tests that test for THC don’t differentiate between Delta-8 THC like we sell, and Delta-9 THC like you’d get from consuming cannabis. If you have a drug test coming up that will look for cannabis, it’s best to avoid delta-8 THC.