Delta-8 THC is one of over 100 compounds produced naturally by the cannabis plant. Its chemical structure is similar to delta-9 THC, the psychoactive chemical found in marijuana. It is said to have effects similar to those of delta-9 THC (euphoria, happiness, sedation, symptom relief) – but with less potency and without the paranoia that some people experience from delta-9 THC in marijuana.
Delta-8 THC can be extracted from either hemp or marijuana, making its legality a bit hazy. According to the 2018 Farm Bill, products manufactured from hemp that contain 0.3% THC or less (the delta-9 variety) are legal. Although delta-8 is naturally present in hemp, it occurs in such small amounts that it must be chemically synthesized from CBD to create enough of it to add to popular products like gummies, vape cartridges, candies, etc. So, technically, delta-8 does come from hemp – though its production is due to a bit of a legal loophole.
What else should you know about this new breakout cannabinoid? Read on for answers to the 5 most important questions you should be asking about delta-8 THC.
Delta-8 vs. Delta-9 THC: What’s the difference?
Delta-8 and delta-9 THC are similar in that they both have a double bond in their chemical structures. This double bond is thought to produce the intoxicating effects that make you feel high. The difference between the two is in the double bond placement – delta-8 THC’s double bond is located on the 8th carbon atom, whereas delta-9’s bond is on the 9th carbon atom. This single difference changes the way the two THCs interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) and is thought to make delta-8 THC less potent than delta-9 THC. As a newly emerging cannabinoid, much more research is still to be done on delta-8 THC and how it interacts with the body.
Does delta-8 THC get users high?
Yes, delta-8 THC produces psychoactive effects, although it is not as potent as delta-9 THC. This ability to create a “high” is what has propelled delta 8 into the mainstream with such enthusiasm, especially for people living in states where marijuana is still illegal. Delta-8 THC is seen as a legal alternative since it is derived from hemp – though, as stated previously, this legality is a bit murky.
Users of delta 8 THC report many of the same effects as delta-9 THC, such as mild euphoria, happiness, uplifted feelings, and relief from some symptoms such as pain and insomnia.
Will delta-8 THC show up on a drug test?
Probably. Since the cannabinoid is just starting to be researched, there isn’t much information available. But since it is so chemically similar to delta-9 THC, it’s probably a safe bet that it will appear on a drug test. Most drug tests specifically look for the presence of THC or its metabolites. Since not much is known yet about how delta-8 THC interacts with the body and how long it is stored in a person’s system, it’s best to avoid consuming delta-8 THC if you are subject to drug testing.
How is delta-8 THC made?
Delta-8 is found in minimal amounts in both marijuana and hemp plants. To make hemp-derived delta-8 THC, manufacturers first extract CBD from the hemp plant and refine it into an isolate (i.e., filter out all other cannabinoids, terpenes, etc.). This CBD isolate is then synthesized into delta-8 THC. Since it requires quite a bit of processing to produce, delta-8 THC tends to be more expensive than the CBD it is sourced from.
Since delta-8 THC exploded in popularity so quickly in late 2020, some manufacturers started to see it as a ‘get rich quick’ product and have jumped into delta 8 production without necessarily knowing how to do things properly. These manufacturers generally do not have their products tested by independent third-party laboratories – something that responsible manufacturers do – so there is no analysis that details the chemical components of these products and no way to know whether or not they contain potentially harmful substances.
How can I find good-quality, safe delta-8 products?
When shopping for delta-8 products, ask how the products are sourced and created. Are they made from US-grown hemp? Are they produced in a GMP-certified facility?
Look at the product’s lab analysis. Quality delta-8 products are tested by a third-party laboratory, which provides a Certificate of Analysis (COA) listing the product’s chemical breakdown and the presence of harmful chemicals or microbial. A QR code on the product’s label should direct you to this COA. Avoid products that aren’t tested, as you won’t know what’s really in the product or whether it contains any delta-8 at all.
The Farmacy Botanical Shoppe offers high-quality, lab-tested delta-8 products made from US-grown hemp and offers a CBD delivery service in San Antonio. Check out our selection of delta-8 gummies, vape cartridges, and more and order online for same-day delivery.