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Diet Weed? The Nitty-Gritty On Delta-8 THC


Delta-8 THC is becoming incredibly popular in states where cannabis is still illegal. This cannabis compound is almost identical to Delta-9 THC, better known as the active compound in cannabis known to induce an intoxicating effect or high. However, although Delta-8 THC is similar to traditional THC, it tends to be much less potent. Here’s the skinny on all things Delta-8 THC.

What is Delta-8 THC?

Like Delta-9 THC (the one that gets you high), Delta-8 THC is a chemical compound found in both cannabis and hemp plants. It offers the same physical and mental effects as regular THC, although they differ slightly in their chemical structure. This small difference makes Delta-8 THC feel almost the same as THC, although a bit less potent. That’s why many users started calling it “diet herb”.

Additionally, Delta-8 THC is usually extracted from hemp plants since growing hemp is legal in the United States. Delta-8 THC can be synthesized from CBD by refining the CBD into an isolate and then turning it into Delta-8 THC. Even though it is made from CBD, its effects are closer to THC.

For example, Delta-8 THC binds to our endocannabinoid systems to promote effects like regular delta-9 THC. Due to its chemical structure, it is much less intense than the high caused by delta-9 THC. This is why so many people use it for anxiety as well as other physical and mental ailments where delta-9 THC may seem too intense.

That said, if you live in a state that doesn’t yet have legal cannabis or are looking for something similar to THC that won’t hit you as hard, you’ll probably like Delta-8 THC. The high is clearer and more relaxed while providing many of the effects you would enjoy with THC.

What is the difference between Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC?

While the biggest difference between Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC is their chemical structure, Delta-8 THC affects our bodies slightly differently. Unlike standard THC, Delta-8 binds to the endocannabinoid system (ECS) a little differently. Delta-8 THC has a double bond on its 8th carbon chain, while Delta-9 has it on the ninth carbon chain. This small detail makes a huge difference in the ability of the ECS to process these cannabinoids. This positioning decreases some of the effects of THC in the time it takes for the ECS to process it. This is largely why science suggests that Delta-8 THC appears less potent than regular THC. However, Delta-8 is still relatively new to the scene, and further study is needed to solidify these ideas into facts.

Does Delta-8 THC get you high?

Yes, Delta-8 THC will get you high. It just doesn’t feel as potent as delta-9 THC, and it tends to feel a bit more lucid. It’s a great choice for people who like the effects of THC for physical or mental ailments but don’t like feeling high. Its less intense effects are significant for symptom management without anxiety or paranoia. It is also used in many places where cannabis is still illegal, thanks to the loophole in its legality that we will detail below.

What are the effects of Delta-8 THC?

Delta-8 THC offers all the same effects as Delta-9 THC, including pain and inflammation relief, appetite stimulation, muscle spasms and anti-cancer effects. It just feels less intense, which means it has the added benefit of acting as an anti-anxiety. Many users also report feelings of happiness, euphoria, and a powerful mental lift. Some people even use it for insomnia.

Also similar to Delta-9 THC, Delta-8 THC will cause the same side effects. You will likely experience dry eyes and dry mouth as well as possible short-term memory loss or a case of food cravings. Unlike standard THC, more research is still needed on Delta-9 THC to accurately describe the full spectrum of its effects.

Is Delta-8 THC legal?

The answer is both yes and no. Under the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp products were deemed federally legal and usable as long as they contained less than 0.3% THC, i.e. Delta-9 THC in particular. .

Since Delta-8 THC comes from hemp and is synthesized from CBD, it is currently in legal purgatory. Eleven states have already addressed the legality of Delta-8 THC and deemed it illegal due to its similarities to Delta-9 THC, a Schedule 1 substance. However, other states allow Delta-8 THC or are actively looking for ways to remedy the situation.

The DEA is also trying to understand this legal vacuum. Since Delta-8 THC comes from hemp and not cannabis, it is technically legal to grow, use and sell it. However, the DEA introduced a provisional rule last year to further differentiate cannabis from hemp. That interim rule stated, “All synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols remain Schedule I controlled substances,” which would make delta-8 federally illegal, if passed.

However, with cannabis being completely legal in 18 states and medically legal in 36 states, most retailers choose to follow state laws rather than federal laws anyway. The best thing to do is to check your state’s laws and follow them. The DEA’s IFR is open for review until October 2021, so until then delta-8 THC is in a legal gray area.



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