What is Delta-8 THC?
Cannabis and hemp plants grow very small amounts of delta-8 THC, making it far more rare than delta-9. However, it can be derived from either type of cannabis plant using special breeding, extraction, and processing methods.
The “8” in delta-8 stands for the placement of a chemical bond, one step over from where it sits in delta-9. Its structural similarity allows it to have similar effects. However, there are key differences. While delta-8 and delta-9 THC may share similarities, they have some noted differences. Unlike CBD, which is heralded for its lack of psychoactive effects, that is not the case for delta-8 THC.
Delta-8 can be psychoactive for some consumers, just less so than delta-9. A good way to think about it generally is something like the “Weed Light”: many of the effects and benefits of delta-9, though toned down a few steps. It is still euphoric and stimulates appetite. It can energize or relax the consumer depending on the larger terpene and cannabinoid profile, similar to delta-9. And yes, it can induce some of the typical heady, psychoactive experience. The main difference is that while delta-8 can do all of these things, it does them with less intensity. Even for experienced cannabis users, there is a noticeable effect, albeit a less intense one. However, the trade-off here is that the potential negative side effects of cannabis are also reduced.
While some states may have individual restrictions, Delta-8 cannabinoids are completely hemp-derived and thus fall under the legislation of the 2018 Farm Bill. In accordance with the bill’s guidelines, delta-8 preparations contain less than .3% delta-9 THC.