What is Delta-8 THC

What is Delta-8 THC

By now you’ve likely heard of CBD, one of the most popular compounds derived from the legal hemp plant. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid touted for its versatile healing capabilities. It isn’t the only healthy cannabinoid, though – the hemp plant contains over 113 known cannabinoids, and researchers believe there are more to discover! Today, we’re focusing our attention on delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol, or Delta-8 THC.


What are cannabinoids?

The hemp plant is made up of hundreds of compounds that benefit our health. These compounds largely consist of cannabinoids and terpenes.

Terpenes are aromatic compounds that induce positive bodily effects without interacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Cannabinoids also provide a myriad of benefits, but they interact with the ECS directly to benefit your health.

There are two classes of cannabinoids: phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids. Both interact with the CB1 and CB2 receptors found in the ECS; however, phytocannabinoids are derived from the resinous trichomes of the hemp plant itself whereas endocannabinoids are lipophilic molecules produced from within the human body.

Phytocannabinoids can be divided into ten distinct categories:

  • Cannabidiols (e.g., CBD)
  • Cannabichromenes (e.g., CBC)
  • Cannabinols and cannabinodiols (e.g., CBN)
  • Cannabicyclols (e.g., CBL)
  • Cannabigerols (e.g., CBG)
  • Cannabielsoins (e.g., CBE)
  • Cannabitriols (e.g., CBT)
  • Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinols (e.g., Delta-8 THC)
  • Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinols (e.g., Delta-9 THC)
  • Miscellaneous cannabinoids

Each type of cannabinoid carries unique strengths. Combined, they work synergistically to create an entourage effect of benefits to boost your health.


What is Delta-8?

Also known as Delta-8 THC, delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol is a psychoactive cannabinoid that has steadily gained popularity in recent years. It induces a “high” similar to that produced by marijuana ingestion; however, the psychotropic effects produced by Delta-8 are very mild by comparison.

Delta-8 consumers report the following positive effects:

  • Euphoria
  • Relaxation
  • Anxiety reduction
  • Pain relief
  • Increased appetite
  • Nausea reduction 
  • Insomnia relief

This 2022 study confirms many of these benefits, additionally finding that the overwhelming majority of participants did not experience the anxiety and paranoia that sometimes accompanies delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-9 THC) consumption. Researchers here liken Delta-8 to “Delta-9’s nicer younger sibling.” Interestingly, many patients even noted that they would consider substituting both Delta-9 and pharmaceutical drug use with Delta-8.

In another 2021 study, patients reported that they ingested Delta-8 to effectively treat the following conditions:

  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Panic attacks
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Chronic pain

Many patients here prefer Delta-8 to Delta-9, finding that the side effects of Delta-8 consumption were significantly less intense and overwhelming than that of Delta-9. Overall, users tend to find Delta-8 to be a more pleasant experience.

Although Delta-8 carries a wide range of benefits, it is worthwhile to note that some users may experience uncomfortable side effects when ingesting too much too quickly. Some side effects include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Red eyes
  • Reduced reaction times
  • Difficulty with coordination
  • Short-term memory loss

These potential side effects are best remedied by slow, steady dosing with awareness and respect for your own personal limits. Try small doses at a time, paying attention to the dosing information provided on product labels and gradually building up to your ideal dosage.


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

Delta-9 THC, formally known as delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, is the primary psychoactive cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. It is responsible for the “high” commonly associated with marijuana consumption.

While Delta-8 and Delta-9 produce many similar bodily effects, they are two entirely different cannabinoids that carry their own distinctive chemical structures.

Delta-9 is considered a major cannabinoid, meaning that cannabis plants produce prolific amounts of the compound. Conversely, Delta-8 is a minor cannabinoid. Only very small quantities of Delta-8 are found in the cannabis plant.

The psychotropic effects felt by Delta-9 use are more potent and pronounced, whereas Delta-8’s psychoactivity is comparatively mild and subtle.


Is Delta-8 legal?

The 2018 Farm Bill defines legal parameters for hemp at the federal level, legalizing hemp-derived cannabinoids like CBD as well as hemp products containing a maximum of 0.3% Delta-9 THC by weight.

Because Delta-8 and Delta-9 are two entirely different cannabinoids, Delta-8 is not confined to the same restrictions as Delta-9. So long as Delta-8 is naturally extracted and not artificially derived, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) permits the use and sale of Delta-8.

Although Delta-8 is federally legal, states reserve the right to enact their own laws regarding the psychoactive cannabinoid. Always check your local laws before purchasing and consuming any Delta-8 product.

Additionally, employers remain free to drug test employees for both Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC. If a positive drug test may prove detrimental to your career or personal life, avoid Delta-8, Delta-9, and Full Spectrum CBD, and opt for Broad Spectrum or Isolate CBD products instead.


Should I try Delta-8?

Delta-8 is a fantastic option for anyone seeking a light, pleasant high with minimal risk of side effects. Beyond its relaxing euphoric effects, you might enjoy Delta-8 for its pain-relieving, insomnia-fighting, or mood-boosting properties.

Always consult with a healthcare provider before ingesting any hemp-derived products, especially if you take medications or suffer from pre-existing health conditions.

If Delta-8 interests you, we recommend this Bliss Spritz or these Mango Gummies from Bee’s Knees Wellness! Their spritz is perfect for on-the-go consumers looking for a small dose of Delta-8 throughout the day, and the gummies are a tasty option for anyone searching for a greater, longer lasting effect in the form of an easily dosed edible.


We love Delta-8 as a gentle alternative to Delta-9 THC, providing a great health boost while maintaining a relaxing mind-body state. We hope that, as you start your journey with a diverse range of cannabinoids, you achieve profound wellness with Delta-8.

time Oct 17, 2023

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