There is a new buzzword when it comes to the hemp and cannabis industries, with a new cannabinoid on the rise. You’ve likely heard of some of the more popular cannabinoids like CBD and THC, but have you learned about delta-8 THC? This variant of its commonly known cousin tetrahydrocannabinol is making waves among cannabis and hemp connoisseurs alike. So, let’s go over some of the basics: what is delta-8 and is it legal.
First, What Is Delta-8 THC?
Cannabis plants, and hemp plants for that matter, are equipped with a multitude of cannabinoids. These are naturally occurring compounds that can bind with receptors throughout the human body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). Cannabinoids can offer a variety of potentially therapeutic effects from stress relief, to improved sleep and even pain management.
Delta-8 THC is a minor cannabinoid found in cannabis and hemp plants. Though research surrounding all cannabinoids is relatively new and still emerging, there is less knowledge in the direction of minor cannabinoids compared to the primary ones like (delta-9) THC or CBD.
From a chemical standpoint, delta-8 THC and delta-9 THC differ due to the location of a double bind in their molecular chain. Delta-8 THC contains the bond on the 8th carbon chain while delta-9 THC has it on the 9th carbon chain. Though this is a small difference in structure, there is a detectable difference in how each effects the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). Delta-8 THC can bind to CB1 receptors within the ECS, but less is known about the bonding with CB2 receptors.
Delta-8 THC’s bond with the CB1 receptor is somewhat like that of Delta-9 THC, but due to its difference in molecular structure the interaction is different. The CB1 receptor within the ECS is largely responsible for moderating the psychoactive effects of THC, so the difference in bonding could be the reason for the reported reduction in psychoactive properties. Users of Delta-8 THC have reported similar effects that like of traditional THC, but less amplified.
Related: Are you curious about delta-8 THC and how it’s made or can make you feel? Click here to learn more from our full Delta-8 THC Resource Page.
So, Is Delta-8 THC Legal?
Most delta-8 products on the market today are sourced from hemp plants. According to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp cultivated in the United States must have a THC threshold of less than 0.3% delta-9 THC. This puts the legality of delta-8 in the same classification as CBD products in most states (for now at least). While restrictions may vary state by state, similar to restrictions surrounding delta-9 THC, currently most delta-8 preparations are hemp-derived and fall under the legislation of 2018 Farm Bill.
Delta-8 THC is not specifically listed as an illegal substance, though on a federal level and still in some state’s delta-9 THC is illegal according to law. Some states, like Michigan and Texas, are working quickly to implement regulations on delta-8 similar to those surrounding delta-9. To learn more about delta-8 legality state to state, check here.
If you are a CBD connoisseur used to buying hemp-derived cannabidiol products, you should be in the clear when turning to legitimate manufactures and distributors. Some new regulation is seen as a bridged win by some cannabis advocates, instead of an outright ban on delta-8.
As with any cannabinoid-based product, finding a safe and reliable source is key to getting all the benefits of a delta-8 THC product. Relying on third party lab test results is the best way to ensure you are getting a quality product that is not only safe and effective, but also within the legal parameters of delta-8 and delta-9 THC.
If you are curious about trying out delta-8 THC, sometimes referred to as “diet weed” or “cannabis light,” turn to Real Tested CBD and our independent lab test results and product reviews. We test for purity, potency and overall quality, ensuring you are getting what you want out of your delta-8 purchase. To check out our Best Delta-8 Products Category, click here.