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Meet The “Mellowed-Out” THC Variant: A Beginner’s Guide To Delta-8-THC
Contemporary cannabis laws can get pretty complicated, but most of them center around that ol’ “troublemaker” THC. Short for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, this psychoactive cannabinoid is most responsible for the “high” people feel when they smoke marijuana.
Due to its psychoactive qualities, delta-9-THC remains banned in most countries, including the USA. However, new research suggests there’s another THC molecule lawmakers didn’t account for: delta-8-THC!
While this rare cannabinoid is remarkably similar to delta-9-THC, it seems to have milder psychotropic effects. Many doctors and patients are getting interested in the potential therapeutic applications of this novel cannabinoid.
However, before we start exploring this exciting chemical, please keep in mind there’s not a ton of research on delta-8-THC. At this point, we can’t conclusively say anything about delta-8-THC’s benefits. There are a great deal of questions surrounding delta-8-THC, people really want to know where did delta 8 THC originate from? While anecdotal reports look promising, it may take a few years before researchers have a firm handle on this fascinating cannabinoid.
How Does Delta-8-THC Differ From Delta-9-THC?
The easiest way to describe delta-8-THC is to contrast it with the better-known delta-9-THC. Indeed, since both of these cannabinoids share so many traits, it’s difficult to define them in isolation.
On the molecular level, delta-8-THC and delta-9-THC look almost like twins. However, if you squint your eyes a bit, you should notice one slight difference between these chemicals. While delta-8-THC has a double bond on the eighth carbon chain, delta-9 THC has this bond on (you guessed it!) the ninth chain.
Although this difference is slight, it’s enough for scientists to divide delta-8 and delta-9 THC into separate categories. Interestingly, it also appears the placement of this double bond changes how these cannabinoids interact with the human endocannabinoid system (ECS).
According to most anecdotal reports, delta-8 THC has milder psychoactive properties compared with delta-9-THC. Even though both of these cannabinoids bind with CB1 receptors, it appears delta-8-THC is less aggressive. Some users also suggest delta-8-THC has a lower risk of unwanted side effects like paranoia.
The third most significant difference between delta-8 and delta-9-THC is how common they are in the cannabis plant. No matter what strain you have, delta-9-THC percentages will be higher than delta-8. Indeed, since delta-8-THC is so scarce, it’s one of the most challenging cannabinoids to extract for study and consumption.
Is Delta-8-THC Legal In The USA?
Over the past few decades, we’ve all been trained to associate “THC” with “illegal.” However, there’s no clear legal distinction between delta-8 and delta-9-THC. In fact, the 2018 US Farm Bill only explicitly bans the production and sale of hemp with over 0.3 percent delta-9-THC.
So, technically, it’s legal to buy, sell, and use delta-8-THC products—provided they come from a federally-legal hemp plant. However, as more states learn about delta-8-THC, they might introduce novel restrictions.
Since delta-8-THC vape carts are a relatively new phenomenon, consumers should stay up-to-date on their local legislature’s cannabis laws. Customers might also want to reserve delta-8-THC for private use until there’s greater legal clarity at the federal level.
How Different Is Delta-8-THC From CBD?
Even though delta-8-THC isn’t as intense as delta-9-THC, that doesn’t mean it’s as mild as CBD. Customers must remember delta-8-THC is psychoactive, while CBD is not. Research also suggests delta-8-THC binds directly with the brain’s CB1 receptors, while CBD molecules interfere with THC binding.
If you’ve never tried either of these cannabinoids, we’d recommend starting with a CBD oil, isolate powder, or topical. Since CBD has no psychoactive potential, it has less risk of adverse side effects. Plus, it’s safer to take CBD any time of the day without interfering with your productivity.
However, if you’re looking for a product that offers more potency than CBD, then it might be time to look into delta 8 THC cartridges. Just remember that you’ll probably need less delta-8-THC to feel more potent effects versus a CBD vape cart.
Why Do People Vape Delta-8-THC?
For many vapers, delta-8-THC hits the “sweet spot” between the ultra-chill CBD and the potentially-paranoia-inducing delta-9-THC. While delta-8 doesn’t seem to be as strong as delta-9-THC, it’s also not as subtle as CBD. In most cases, delta-8-THC offers a “lite high” that doesn’t cause intense sedation or an uncomfortable “mind race” buzz.
Anyone who’s experienced paranoia when taking medical marijuana tends to respond better to delta-8-THC carts. Indeed, many patients with mental conditions like social anxiety or PTSD have reported great success vaping delta-8-THC. Delta-8-THC’s psychoactive effects are “highly” desirable, especially when dealing with chronic stress.
But it’s not only delta-8-THC’s mental effects that has got people excited. Indeed, there’s a lot of talk about delta-8-THC’s anti-nausea potential. The few studies that exist on delta-8-THC seem to suggest it has a positive impact on appetite stimulation. This might make delta-8-THC a good option for patients who can’t handle medical marijuana strains or delta-9-THC derivatives like Marinol.
Does Delta-8-THC Have Side Effects?
To date, there’s no hard evidence that delta-8-THC causes significant side effects in humans. In fact, the National Cancer Institute claims delta-8-THC is less “psychotropic” versus delta-9-THC. A few studies also said the side effects related to delta-8 usage were “negligible.”
However, this doesn’t mean delta-8-THC is without potential risk. Like any other supplement, it’s possible users could have a bad reaction, especially if you take delta-8-THC in combination with prescription medications.
If you fear you’re having an allergic reaction to delta-8-THC, please discontinue use and speak with your primary care physician. You might also want to ask a medical cannabis expert how to incorporate delta-8-THC into your daily life.
What’s The Best Way To Take Delta-8-THC?
Just like CBD, there’s no “best” way to take delta-8-THC. Instead, there are many different ways to take delta-8-THC, each of which has a different effect.
Today, the most popular way for people to consume delta-8-THC is in a vapable form. There are a few reasons delta-8 vape carts are so popular, but the most obvious one is they’re fast-acting.
When you vape any cannabinoid, it goes directly into your bloodstream, resulting in a potent and instantaneous effect. Plus, since you’re inhaling vapor rather than smoke, you don’t have to worry about nasty carcinogens ending up in your lungs.
Another reason people love delta-8-THC vape carts is they’re tasty! Not only do terpenes boost your delta-8-THC’s flavor, they could enhance the potency of your vaping session.
On the downside, some people might find vaping delta-8-THC too intense, especially if they’ve never had cannabis before. Also, although it’s easy to sneak a delta-8 pen in your pocket, these devices could look a little shady in public places.
Although vaping is the most common way to take delta-8-THC, it’s not the only method available. Indeed, there are now delta-8-THC tinctures and gummies on the market.
Of these two alternatives, delta-8 tinctures offer greater potency, but edibles offer greater discretion. Plus, since delta-8-THC gummies aren’t as potent as vape carts or tinctures, they’re well-suited for beginners. Many new customers use delta-8-THC gummies to discover whether delta-8 is right for them.
Could You Experience Delta-8-THC By Smoking Hemp?
Even though delta-8-THC is in many cannabis strains, it’s unlikely you’ll notice this cannabinoid’s psychoactive effects when smoking premium hemp flowers. The vast majority of hemp strains are bred for optimal CBD percentages. While this doesn’t mean there’s no delta-8-THC in our hemp cultivars, it’s not the most prominent cannabinoid.
That being said, please remember that smokable hemp offers users the “entourage effect.” For those who aren’t aware, the “entourage effect” posits that cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids work together to produce a heightened therapeutic effect. So, even though CBD might be the top cannabinoid in our hemp strains, delta-8-THC could influence each strain’s effects.
Today, the best way for customers to taste full-potency delta-8 is to look into Delta-8-THC vape carts.
Will Delta-8-THC Show Up On A Drug Test?
One of the downsides of using delta-8-THC is that it could interfere with your company’s drug test. Even though delta-8 and delta-9-THC are separate molecules, most tests can’t tell the difference between them. So, if you still have delta-8 in your system when it’s time to give a urine sample, chances are you won’t “make the grade.”
If you’re concerned about failing a drug screening, then you should avoid all delta-8 and full-spectrum CBD products at least three days before your test. You might also want to consider using hemp products that contain zero THC. For instance, our CBD isolate powder contains 99 percent CBD with zero secondary cannabinoids. Plus, CBD isolate is odorless and flavorless, making it extremely easy to conceal in foods and beverages.