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The 'Blunt' Truth — Is Delta-8 THC Just A Legal Weed Alternative?

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Source: Talent Resources

Feb. 22 2022, Updated 3:31 p.m. ET

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Let's not fool ourselves: Most people that get interested in delta-8 THC are looking for a legal way to get "high." Sure, delta-8 may have many unique benefits versus other cannabinoids, but the majority of people who use delta-8 want a "weed-like" experience without breaking the law.

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So, does that mean the "reefer rumors" are for real? Is delta-8 THC just a sneaky way to get stoned?

Is Delta-8 Truly "Diet Weed?" — What We Know About Delta-8's Effects

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There's no doubt that delta-8 THC has psychoactive properties. Whether you're skimming through Reddit threads or reading the latest scientific reviews, nobody doubts that delta-8 lands on CB1 receptors to provoke "high-like" effects.

Chemists involved in cannabis research also claim delta-8 THC is an all-natural hemp cannabinoid with a distinct molecular structure. Unlike other THC molecules, delta-8 has a double-bond on the eight carbon chain. While this feature may not seem like much, it may be responsible for delta-8's distinctive effects.

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The most notable of these unique effects is delta-8's potency — or lack thereof. You see, many experienced customers who try delta-8 claim it has weaker effects versus the standard delta-9 THC. For this reason, some hemp fans have taken to calling delta-8 "diet weed."

Unfortunately, we don't have any scientific data to support these anecdotal claims (yet!). At this point, we could assume delta-8 THC is "diet weed," but we need more clinical trials to evaluate its average potency.

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People who have never tried a psychoactive cannabinoid should approach delta-8 with caution. Sure, delta-8 probably isn't the most potent cannabinoid on earth, but it will have way more substantial effects versus CBD or CBG.

So, Is Delta-8 As Extreme As Delta-9 THC?

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Again, we can't say whether delta-8 THC is distinctly less intense versus delta-9 THC depending on the product. However, there's mounting evidence that delta-8 tends to have a weaker effect on the endocannabinoid system.

For instance, researchers at the University at Buffalo recently polled hundreds of verified delta-8 users via email or Internet forums. According to this informal survey, delta-8 exhibited many of delta-9's effects without the risk for significant side effects.

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74 percent of delta-8 users in this trial didn't feel intense anxiety after using this cannabinoid. Over 80 percent of survey participants claimed delta-8 did not provoke paranoia. These adverse reactions are commonly associated with delta-9 THC, particularly in Cannabis sativa strains.

Some users speculate delta-8 has a lower risk for paranoia because of its "indica-like properties." Unlike uplifting sativa strains, indicas are known to be relaxing and sedating. Unfortunately, there's no evidence delta-8 has any affinity with indica cultivars, but it appears these soothing properties cut its risk of paranoia.

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After reviewing their survey data, professors at the University of Buffalo claimed delta-8 might offer many of delta-9's effects with a lower risk for adverse reactions. However, study authors didn't claim whether that meant delta-8 was "weaker" than delta-9 THC.

At this point, we can assume delta-8 THC doesn't hit as hard as delta-9 THC, but we'll need further evidence to back up this working hypothesis.

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Is Delta-8 THC Legal Throughout The USA?

Everyone who loves delta-8 wants to believe it's legal, but that's not necessarily true. Granted, there's no federal ban on delta-8 THC, and the 2018 US Farm Bill technically legalized all hemp-derived cannabinoids except delta-9 THC. However, there are plenty of territories that aren't delta-8-friendly.

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Customers who want to try delta-8 should always look up their hometown's stance towards hemp. As long as there's no formal ban on delta-8, it's technically legal to order hemp-derived delta-8 products.

Just don't forget to verify your delta-8 company takes these national hemp standards seriously. All delta-8 extracts should contain the legal delta-9 THC levels (i.e., ≤ 0.3 percent). If your company can't deliver third-party lab testing results, you shouldn't work with them.

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Use Real Tested CBD For Trusted Delta-8 Data

Delta-8 may have valid therapeutic potential. However, at this point, most people who want delta-8 are more concerned with using it recreationally.

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Whatever your reason for trying delta-8, you need to be extra careful about ordering this cannabinoid. The hemp industry is so new, and many companies are jumping on the "delta-8 train" without putting your safety first.

Please always ask for third-party lab results to ensure you're getting the purest delta-8 imaginable. You could also use the resources on Real Tested CBD to distinguish quality delta-8 brands from charlatans.

Please check out our delta-8 page for more information on screening this new hemp cannabinoid.

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