In order to understand what Delta-8 THC is, you’ll need to know a bit of the scientific background. Delta-8 THC is nearly identical to Delta-9 THC until you compare the chemical structure. Both cannabinoids have double bonds on the chemical carbon chain: Delta-9 THC has double bonds on the 9th chain, whereas Delta-8 THC has double bonds on the 8th chain. Now you can see where both cannabinoids get their names from! Delta-8 THC naturally occurs in both the hemp and marijuana plant, but in extremely small quantities. With the help of highly advanced extraction methods and isomerization techniques, scientists are able to convert ordinary CBD into the coveted Delta-8 THC.
Now here’s where it gets a bit tricky. Since Delta-8 THC requires these advanced extraction and conversion methods, many lawmakers consider Delta-8 THC to be a controlled substance since it technically does not naturally exist in large quantities. All Delta-8 THC products are required to have a THC content of 0.3% or less in order to be federally legal and compliant with the 2018 Farm Bill. Despite manufacturers providing lab testing to confirm this THC content, many states have outright banned the cannabinoid. Delta-8 THC is currently legal in 37 states, so be sure to check your state laws before attempting to purchase or consume any product containing this cannabinoid.
Delta-8 THC exploded in popularity after the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill due to its 0.3% or less THC content. The effects of Delta-8 THC are very similar to marijuana but are not quite as overwhelming. Delta-8 THC reaches a certain point and consistently remains there, leaving the user clear-headed and in control. Rather than increasing the user’s paranoia levels, Delta-8 THC offers a smoother, more subdued high than Delta-9 THC. Delta-8 THC products are available in a delightful assortment of products and are often neatly categorized into two groups: inhalables or edibles. Edibles are a popular choice for first-time users but can pose a bit of a problem due to their lengthy reaction time and prolonged effects. Inhalables can kick in within 5-15 minutes but may induce fits of coughing and often require external hardware or some prior knowledge of smoking/vaping. New types of Delta-8 THC products are being created every day: hard candies, beverage enhancers, and even dissolving oral strips are just a few examples of the innovation in the cannabinoid industry.