You’ve likely heard of the new Delta-8 THC if you’ve been keeping up with updates in the Cannabis community. It’s also likely that you have concerns or have heard some misconceptions. Is it safe to consume? Is it similar to regular THC? Find all the answers to your questions and learn everything we know so far about the new cannabinoid below.

What is Delta-8 THC?

Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol or D8 is a cannabinoid. Cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds in Cannabis sativa plants. They’re the main psychoactive components that cause feelings of euphoria and relaxation.

It’s not as new as you might believe. It was discovered in the 1940s and mostly ignored until Raphael Mechoulam, a pioneer in Cannabis research and often referred to as the “father of Cannabis,” examined its potential to arrest tumor growth. He achieved a full synthesis of the chemical in 1965.

Delta-8 is only found in small amounts in hemp and Cannabis plants, so it’s impractical to harvest it. That’s why Cannabis product producers use the process of isomerization to transform either Delta-9 THC, which is the more well-known form of the cannabinoid, or cannabidiol (CBD) into Delta-8.

Delta-8 is almost identical to Delta-9 in chemical structure, and researchers found it has antiemetic, anxiolytic, appetite-stimulating, and analgesic properties. It also has neuroprotective properties. Whether these properties translate into health benefits when intaking the cannabinoid is yet to be verified.

How Is Delta-8 Made?

There are two methods of yielding high quantities of Delta-8 THC:

  • Convert Delta-9 into Delta-8
  • Convert CBD into Delta-9, then into Delta-8

You may have inferred that the first method is the most efficient, and you would be correct. However, many Cannabis producers still use the second method. This is because manufacturers get Delta-9 THC from marijuana which is only legal in some states. On the other hand, CBD is derived from hemp, which is legal on a federal level.

Converting CBD into Delta-8 THC requires solvents, reagents, and acids. Therefore, you need to be a knowledgeable lab technician and have access to high-tech equipment. The final product can contain toxic chemicals if the manufacturing process is done improperly.

Delta-8 Compared to Other Cannabinoids

All cannabinoids affect your consciousness by interacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a network of cellular receptors and chemical signals throughout the brain and the entire body. It regulates various systems, including hunger, temperature, alertness, learning, and memory.

Cannabinoids interact with the ECS differently and produce varying effects

Delta-8 and Delta-9

Delta-8’s effects are similar to Delta-9’s. People usually use the term “THC” to refer to the more popular Delta-9, which is in much higher concentrations in marijuana plants. However, both are forms of THC.

Delta-8 THC’s chemical structure is similar to Delta-9’s. Both attach to the cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptor and produce a fuzzy and euphoric experience. However, D8 has a lower affinity with this receptor, so it’s less psychoactive. Consuming it leads to a milder high, and it is often referred to as “diet weed” or “marijuana-lite” because of this.

There are also slight variations in the experience the two types of THC provide. Delta-8 produces a more clear-headed, high-functioning, creative kind of high. A slight energetic buzz may also accompany it.

The common side effects of THC, including paranoia, anxiety, drowsiness, dry mouth, and red eyes, are also less potent in Delta-8. Many users report having a much more relaxing high.

The intensity of Delta-8’s high has a lower ceiling, and it has a faster comedown period. This may be either an upside or downside to using Delta-8 instead of Delta-9, depending on the user’s preferences.

Delta-8 and CBD

Delta-8 THC has fewer things in common with CBD than it does with Delta-9. CBD isn’t intoxicating, meaning it doesn’t get you high or produce feelings of euphoria. Some misinterpret this to mean that it’s not psychoactive. It is; it just influences your brain differently compared to THC.

Like the Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC, CBD interacts with the CB1 receptors. However, the two types of THC activate it while CBD inhibits it. This is why it doesn’t get you high and is partly why it has anti-seizure and anti-anxiety effects.

CBD can protect users against cognitive impairment caused by THC. They experience a more mellow, nuanced high when intaking both.

Which Is Best for You?

Whichever cannabinoid is most suitable for you depends on your needs and its availability. You may also want to use Cannabis strains or products that combine them to achieve your desired effect.

A product high in Delta-9 THC would be better for you if you’re looking for an intense high. You may also want it to have some amount of CBD for a mellower effect. Delta-8 THC will give you similar results to Delta-9, but it’s better for those looking for a more casual experience.

You may also just not have a choice. Delta-9 THC is federally illegal but has been made legal in some states. Meanwhile, Delta-8 THC is legal on a federal level but banned in some states. This means it’s far more likely to be available where you live.

What about products high in CBD and low in THC? CBD produces some feelings of relaxation but does not cause euphoria. That’s why people usually use these for their medical benefits. However, you shouldn’t take just anyone’s word for it. Consult a doctor first if you want to use CBD to treat a condition.

More research needs to be done on the benefits and side effects of all three cannabinoids. Don’t believe anyone less than a licensed medical professional. If you’re using any Cannabis product for recreational purposes, remember to use it responsibly.

Why Is Delta-8 Legal?

You’re likely wondering why D8 is legal—isn’t it still marijuana? Technically, yes. However, it’s a hemp-derived product, and federal law distinguishes between marijuana and hemp.

Marijuana vs. Hemp

Marijuana and hemp are actually both Cannabis, but federal law uses the terms to refer to different sets of strains.

Marijuana is any Cannabis strain that contains more than 0.3% THC by dried weight. It can be either Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica. These plants are usually cultivated for THC’s psychoactive effects and are what manufacturers use to create intoxicating Cannabis products.

The country recognizes hemp to be legal. This is any Cannabis sativa strain with less than 0.3% THC. Manufacturers use these plants to create various commercial and industrial products, including textiles, clothing, shoes, rope, paper, bioplastic, biofuel, and insulation. They’re also what CBD is extracted from. It can be extracted from marijuana as well, but then it wouldn’t be hemp-derived.

In addition to the amount of THC, marijuana and hemp have different growth habits. For example, marijuana strains produce generally thicker and stickier resins than hemp strains.

The 2018 Farm Bill

The U.S. enacted the 2018 Farm Bill or Agriculture Improvement Act to support the nation’s farmers, ranchers, and forest managers. It also reclassified Cannabis strains with less than 0.3% THC as hemp and legalized growing it.

Hemp-derived products now no longer fall under the Controlled Substances Act. This is why CBD and Delta-8 are federally legal. Remember that this only applies when they’re hemp-derived, as they can still be derived from federally illegal marijuana.

Legal Status in Various States

Hemp and most products derived from it, including CBD, are legal in all 50 states. However, Delta-8 THC isn’t, and its status is complicated and highly dependent on the location. There are currently 12 states that have banned it, including:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • New York
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah

Several states have placed restrictions on Delta-8 or made it illegal.

This is somewhat expected given that it’s a relatively new product on the market, and you can expect legislation concerning it to change in the future.

The opposite has happened to Delta-9 THC. It’s not federally legal, but some states allow it. Each state has varying laws for recreational and medicinal use.

There are currently no federal regulations on the minimum age required to use Delta-8. However, states set their own laws and usually mandate that consumers be 18 years or older to purchase these products.

Is Delta-8 Safe?

Safety is one of the most important considerations to take when trying a new substance. You may be tempted to assume Delta-8 is safer than Delta-9 because it’s federally legal like CBD. Keep in mind that smoking cigarettes has led to countless individuals developing serious medical conditions, and they’re legal nationwide.

There are currently over 20,000 studies on marijuana, making it the most studied plant in the world. However, Delta-8 is relatively new, so there isn’t enough research to determine whether it’s safer than any other cannabinoid. We also don’t know what effects it causes in high doses.

Consume Delta-8 products as if you were consuming Delta-9 products to be safe. While the former may be less potent than the latter, their chemical structures and effects are similar enough that consuming Delta-8 products at high dosages is likely to have similar negative consequences.

If you ever decide to purchase D8 products, ensure you get some from a trusted seller like LitVapes. We source our stock from only the best manufacturers in the industry.

Who Shouldn’t Consume Delta-8 THC Products?

The following groups should not consume Delta-8:

  • Adolescents: The brain develops until an individual reaches age 25. Therefore, adolescents should take extra precautions and avoid experimenting with drugs. Doing so anyway may interfere with their mental growth.
  • Pregnant women: Research indicates that cannabis exposure during pregnancy may be harmful to fetal development. It’s not conclusive, but it’s better to be safe. Psychoactive drugs are known to have various adverse effects when consumed during pregnancy.
  • Women trying to get pregnant: There’s little research on Delta-8, but a study on Delta-9 suggests that cannabinoid use may affect a fetus’s immune system development. It may increase the risk of developing neurological and psychiatric illnesses.
  • Individuals with cognitive impairments: Some use CBD and Delta-9 THC to treat various conditions, but we know little about Delta-8’s medical applications. You likely won’t find any doctors recommending it as a treatment, at least at the moment.

Results on Drug Tests

There is a good chance you will fail a drug test if you consume Delta-8. They can detect Delta-9, and the two compounds have the same chemical formula and are very similar in chemical structure.

Delta-8 products may also have traces of Delta-9 in them. This is the same reason you may fail a drug test even if you use only CBD products. You should avoid all Cannabis products if you have an upcoming drug test.

THC detectability varies based on how much and how frequently an individual consumes it. It also depends on the type of sample:

  • Up to 36 hours in blood tests
  • Up to 48 hours in saliva samples
  • Up to 90 days in hair samples
  • Up to a month or longer in urine samples

Delta-8 Availability

The availability of D8 products varies between states. Sales are unregulated in some of them, and you may even find some “over-the-counter” in gas stations and convenience stores.

However, it is inadvisable to buy them at these establishments as they are likely to be of low quality. Your best bet is to go to an online weed or vape shop with a good reputation.

Delta-8 products come in various forms, including:

  • Edibles
  • Flower
  • Powders
  • Oils
  • Vapes
  • Topical creams

What’s the Best Way to Consume It?

There isn’t any one superior way to consume Delta-8. However, each product type has its own advantages.

For example, vapes are a hassle-free way to intake Delta-8 and don’t leave much of a smell. Meanwhile, edibles like Delta-8 gummies are incredible for those that want a prolonged high and don’t mind the increased time it takes for it to take effect.

Order Delta-8 THC Vapes Online

Sit back and relax with one of LitVapes’s Delta-8 vapes. We create our products using hemp from some of the best farms in the industry, so you’ll get a potent, relaxing high. Place your order today.