Mary Jane, chronic, dope, pot, weed. Now that I’ve got your attention, what are the similarities between these terms? If you said marijuana, you’re right! All of these terms refer to the familiar seven-tipped leaf that has become a topic of heated discussion over the past centuries. The villainized plant has recently undergone a radical change in terms of legality and is now legal for both medicinal and recreational use in a handful of states. Whether lawmakers finally recognized the healing properties of marijuana or are simply looking for extra income via state taxes, marijuana is quickly morphing into an acceptable way to get high.
Yet some users have been scarred by the intense effects of marijuana and seek a more subdued yet still heady high. Introducing Delta-8 THC, fondly referred to as “weed lite” or “diet weed.” There are several reasons for these nicknames, which we’ll touch on shortly in the following paragraphs. We’ll start off by explaining what Delta-8 THC is and dive into several more commonly asked questions surrounding this cannabinoid. Let’s begin!
What Is Delta-8 THC?
Delta-8 THC is one of over 100 known cannabinoids found naturally in the hemp plant. This particular cannabinoid is extremely similar to Delta-9 THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid that is responsible for the heady high from regular weed. The difference lies in the chemical structure of both cannabinoids. Whereas Delta-9 THC has double bonds on the 9th carbon chain, Delta-8 THC has double bonds on the 8th carbon chains (hence their respective names). Your body’s endocannabinoid system is able to process the Delta-8 THC differently to allow a smoother and more subdued high that allows you to remain clear-headed and in control.
Why Is Delta-8 THC Called Weed Lite/Diet Weed?
Many users fondly refer to Delta-8 THC as “weed lite” or “diet weed.” Some even go as far to call it weed’s little brother/cousin, but that’s a bit of a stretch. Whatever you call it instead of its given name, it is notably less intense than marijuana. Think of it this way. With diet beverages and foods, the difference is usually somehow in the caloric intake, fat content, or ingredients list. This means that while the flavor will more or less be the same, the end results will be different than if you consumed the regular product.
Now apply that same mentality towards Delta-8 THC. This particular cannabinoid does indeed come from the same plant (cannabis) as marijuana, but since it is derived from hemp, it contains a lower THC content (0.3%). The effects of a Delta-8 THC high are very similar to those from a traditional marijuana high. Rather than overwhelming the user with a sense of uneasiness and mental panic, Delta-8 THC delivers a smoother and more subdued high that allows the user to remain clear-headed and in control.
Is Weed Lite Legal?
While it’s true the Delta-8 THC can be derived from cannabis, it must be derived from hemp (not marijauna) in order to be federally legal. We’ve mentioned in a previous article entitled "What's the Difference Between Cannabis, Marijuana, and Hemp?" that cannabis is the actual plant, and that marijuana and hemp are only different in their total THC content. As long as Delta-8 THC is derived from federally legal hemp and contains 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis, it is compliant with the 2018 Farm Bill. However, you’ll need to check with your local laws to ensure you are legally allowed to purchase (either online or in store) and consume weed lite without repercussions.
What Are The Effects of Weed Lite?
The effects of weed lite are extremely varied, as the high will be based on several factors unique to the individual. Your age, weight, gender, metabolism, previous exposure to THC, and more will determine the length and intensity of your high. In previous articles, we compared an active young adult who doesn’t get much sleep and eats poorly due to a hectic schedule to an older more relaxed individual who gets a full night’s sleep, works out regularly, eats clean, and typically has less stress. Obviously the high will vary between the two individuals, and there are so many other factors not even mentioned! You should never assume that someone else’s high will be the same as yours.
That being said, there are many similarities in a Delta-8 THC high that are agreed upon across the board. For instance, if you consume an indica-dominant strain, you may feel a heavy weighted sensation along with a calming sense of relaxation. You may be drowsy and lethargic, and you may experience an increased appetite and thirstiness. If you consume a sativa-dominant strain, you may experience an enhanced sense of focus and creativity, spontaneous bursts of energy, and a motivation to complete mundane/heavily-procrastinated tasks. If you’re curious to see how others have felt after trying a specific product, you can always check out the product reviews listed on the brand’s website, hop on YouTube, or check out blogs specifically devoted to reviewing cannabinoid-infused products.
How Does Weed Lite Compare To Regular Weed?
If you’re accustomed to smoking regular marijuana, there’s a chance that Delta-8 THC may not even do anything to you. Since you are constantly exposed to high amounts of THC, your body’s tolerance may be too high for the significantly lower amounts of THC found in weed lite. While it might be tempting to consume a large amount of Delta-8 THC right off the bat, remember what we mentioned about the effects hitting each user differently. Even if you don’t feel anything with a low amount, it’s strongly encouraged to gradually increase your dosage over time. Be patient. You can always increase your dosage the next time around, but if you take too much Delta-8 THC in a single sitting, you may find yourself uncomfortably high for the next few hours.
Just Exactly How Much Weed Lite Should You Take?
Most companies will list the recommended dosages for their product either on their website or directly on the product packaging. If you’re new to Delta-8 THC, you should start off with this recommendation, less than that if you prefer to start off extremely slow, about 5-15mg. For users wanting more of a heady high, 15-30mg is ideal, and is usually the sweet spot for dosages. However, if your THC tolerance is extremely high or if you want an off-the-wall kind of high, anything over 30mg will mostly likely leave you (and the room!) spinning like crazy.
We’ve accidentally consumed a 50mg gummy before, and the overwhelming sense of dizziness, drowsiness, and uneasiness was not a pleasant experience. If you do end up accidentally consuming too much Delta-8 THC, try to remain calm and remind yourself that the effects will soon pass. You can check out our article entitled "What Happens If I Consume Too Much Delta-8 THC?", which can give you a better idea of what to do in this unfortunate situation.
Delta-8 THC, commonly called “weed lite,” isn’t for everyone. If you’re a diehard marijuana user who consumes large quantities of Delta-9 THC throughout the day, you most likely won’t appreciate the more subdued effects of Delta-8 THC. However, if you’ve been scarred by the effects of traditional weed and are simply looking for a smoother high, you may enjoy the sense of deep relaxation and clear-headedness that comes from a Delta-8 THC high. Thanks to an unintended loophole in the 2018 Farm Bill, Delta-8 THC is legal on a federal level. Some states have their own laws regarding this psychoactive cannabinoid, so it’s best to check with your local legislation before attempting to consume or purchase any form of weed lite.
Marijuana continues to make impressive strides towards becoming legal for both medicinal and recreational use, but some users prefer the less-intense effects of weed lite. When trying a new Delta-8 THC product for the first time, it’s important to start off with the recommended dosage until you can accurately gauge how your body reacts. Remember that you can always increase your dosage over time, but consuming too much Delta-8 THC in a single sitting can have a negative impact on your overall high. If you’re curious to try a high-quality Delta-8 THC product, we encourage you to check out our beautiful selection of vape carts, tinctures, gummies, and softgels! Our entire collection of Delta-8 THC products are rigorously tested by independent third-party labs to ensure purity and potency, and we’d be honored to help you explore the wonderful world of Delta-8 THC. Feel free to share your experiences in the comments below, and we look forward to hearing about your adventures in the very near future!