Delta-8 is a cannabinoid compound which has gained popularity due to its similarity to THC, a well-known cannabinoid which makes you get high. In this article, we will give you some information about this unique cannabinoid and the legality of consuming Delta-8 in the US.
In general, both Delta 8 and Delta 9 (also known as THC) make you high due to interaction with the endocannabinoid receptors in the brain, but Delta 8 is much less potent than THC. However, we still need to conduct more research on delta 8, including its effects, safety profile, and how it works to gain a deeper understanding about this cannabinoid.
Chemically speaking, the structure of Delta-8 is similar to THC (Delta 9), except for the position of a double bond. By this I mean that Delta 8 has the double bond on the eighth carbon, while the THC has the bond on the ninth carbon. This double bond is thought to exert intoxicating effects, making you feel high. Therefore, we may base on the position of the double bond of THC-like cannabinoids to predict the potential effects.
The consumers report that Delta 8 may bring the same effects as THC, such as euphoria, happiness, uplifting feelings, In addition, Delta 8 also helps users relieve symptoms like chronic pain, insomnia although the compound is less potent than THC.
We also admit the fact that, like THC, Delta 8 will get you high, even though not as high as THC. The property benefits some consumers who prefer cannabis products that aren’t as strong as common THC, even if they can legally buy THC products or those living in states where THC is illegal, delta 8 may be a legal way to experience THC- like effects.
Overall, delta 8 and THC are relatively safe and they both have the same minor adverse effects, namely dry mouth, red eyes, change appetite and anxiety. However, unlike THC, delta 8 hasn’t been studied intensively, so more research is needed to discover the effects on the human body in the future.
If you take Delta 8 for the first time, it may affect you strongly. In contrast for experienced consumers, they report that the effects of Delta 8 are weaker than regular THC. However, it is important to take a little bit at first, and then wait for the onset before taking more. The consumption method will affect your experience, meaning how quickly you gain the effects due to change in bioavailability of several routes. For instance, if you vape Delta-8, you can feel the effects within 10 minutes or less. Meanwhile, you need to wait up to 2 hours to experience the same effects if taken Delta-8 edibles.
Producers commonly dose Delta-8 in their gummies with twice the amount of THC gummies. In measuring the suitable dose of Delta-8, they often calculate that the strength of delta 8 is less than half of regular THC with the same dose. So a 25-mg delta-8 gummy is equal to the effects of a 10-mg THC gummy.
Hemp and cannabis plants only contain trace amounts of Delta-8, so we can’t extract directly Delta-8 from these plants. Commonly, CBD is produced and refined into an isolated form of CBD, and then CBD isolate is converted into Delta 8 by chemical processes. It is easy to find that Delta 8 requires more steps to produce than CBD and this increases the production cost of Delta which is balanced by high demand for it.
Currently, delta-8 exists in a legal gray area. The Federal Drug Enforcement Administration has prepared a proposed rule which indirectly classified delta-8 as a schedule I controlled substance, making it federally illegal. However, the rule is not yet final.
A federal act passed by congress, named the 2018 Farm bill, legalized hemp in the US. In this act, hemp is defined as all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, whether growing or not, with THC concentration of not more than 0.3%. From this point, delta 8 is quite legal due to it chemically differs from delta-9 or also known as THC. However, in some states, they have chosen not to adopt this specific act, making delta 8 illegal. Producers and retailers of delta 8 only sell the products containing delta 8 in the states that adopt the language of Farm Bill. Generally, producers can sell delta 8 in certain states based on their interpretation of a state’s law.
Additionally, in 2020, DEA will apply an interim final rule which updates and confirms the differences between hemp and cannabis. The rule said that all synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols remain Schedule I controlled substances which would make delta 8 illegal because the compound is produced by chemical processes.
Delta-8 isn’t legal in all states and it is still hazy legality so far. Nearly all delta 8 on the market is produced from hemp-derived CBD which make it, in theory at least, part of a federally legal chain of origin.
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