What is Delta-8? – All You Need To Know

by | Jun 9, 2023 | Marijuana Insights, Tech and Science | 0 comments

Delta-8, a cannabis compound gaining popularity, shares similarities with delta-9 THC, the primary compound in cannabis known for its euphoric and sedating effects. Delta-8 THC, derived from hemp or cannabis, produces similar but milder effects compared to regular delta-9 THC. Although delta-8 and delta-9 are both forms of THC, the term “THC” typically refers to delta-9 THC. The legal status of delta-8 remains uncertain, as it can be extracted from hemp, which is legally grown and used for extractions in the United States. Consequently, delta-8 is considered legal in states where delta-9 THC is prohibited, albeit with some ambiguity. Most delta-8 THC available today is manufactured from hemp-derived CBD, establishing a potentially legal supply chain. Individuals residing in states where THC is illegal are turning to delta-8 as a legal alternative, despite its lower potency. To meet the growing demand, numerous hemp-based extractors are increasing delta-8 production and distributing it nationwide.

What’t the Difference Between Delta-8 and THC?

When comparing delta-8 THC and delta-9 THC, it’s crucial to recognize the disparities between the two. Both compounds interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, inducing a euphoric sensation. Chemically, delta-8 and delta-9 share similarities, as they possess a double bond in their structures. This double bond is believed to be responsible for the intoxicating effects associated with feeling high.

The key distinction lies in the placement of the double bond within the cannabinoids’ chemical composition. While both have a carbon atom chain, delta-8 possesses the double bond on the eighth carbon, whereas delta-9 has it on the ninth.

Due to the location of its double bond, delta-8 engages with the endocannabinoid system in a slightly different manner. This variance is thought to contribute to the reduced potency of delta-8 when compared to regular THC. However, further research is necessary to fully comprehend how delta-8 interacts with the body.

Can Delta-8 Get You High?

Yes, delta-8 can produce a psychoactive effect and get you high, although the intensity of the high is generally lower compared to regular delta-9 THC. For individuals residing in states where cannabis is prohibited, delta-8 offers a potential legal alternative to experience THC-like effects associated with cannabis.

How Long Does Delta-8 High Last?

The duration of a delta-8 high is comparable to that of a high from regular THC, although the intensity of the high is typically milder. The length of the high can vary based on the amount consumed. If vaping or smoking delta-8 flower, the high can last for approximately an hour or longer. On the other hand, if consuming delta-8 gummies, the effects can persist for a few hours. It’s important to note that individual experiences may vary.

Benefits of Delta-8:

Delta-8, being similar to THC, offers consumers some of the same potential benefits. It may assist with various conditions, including:

  1. Pain relief
  2. Insomnia
  3. Anxiety
  4. Nausea

However, it’s important to note that further research is required to fully understand how delta-8 interacts with the body and the extent of its potential benefits for consumers.

Effects of Delta-8:

Users of delta-8 have reported experiencing many of the same effects as THC, albeit to a lesser degree. These effects include mild euphoria, happiness, uplifting sensations, and relief from certain symptoms like pain. Delta-8 can also be helpful in managing insomnia.

Side effects of delta-8 may resemble those of THC, such as dry mouth, red eyes, increased appetite, short-term memory impairment, paranoia, or anxiety. It is crucial to recognize that delta-8 has not been extensively studied, and more research is necessary to understand its effects on both the mind and body.

Delta-8 vs. CBD:

In terms of chemical structure and its ability to induce a high, delta-8 is more similar to THC (specifically delta-9) than CBD. Delta-8 THC binds to the body’s endocannabinoid system in a manner closer to delta-9 THC. On the other hand, CBD exhibits a weaker binding affinity to the endocannabinoid system, making it non-intoxicating. However, CBD can still offer potential medicinal benefits to consumers.

If you are seeking effects akin to THC but with reduced potency, delta-8 may be a suitable choice. Alternatively, if your goal is symptom relief without intoxication, you might consider trying CBD products.

Determining the appropriate dosage of delta-8 can vary depending on individual factors such as tolerance, body chemistry, and experience with cannabis. It is important to note that delta-8 is generally perceived as less potent than regular THC, but its effects can still vary.

Delta-8 is commonly available in forms such as vape cartridges and gummies, with gummies being the most prevalent. To provide a comparison of potency between delta-8 and THC, delta-8 edible producers often dose their gummies at more than twice the strength of THC gummies.

How Much Delta-8 Should I Take?

For example:

  • THC gummies typically come in 10mg doses, and individuals may take half or a full gummy, equivalent to 5mg or 10mg respectively.
  • Delta-8 gummies, on the other hand, often come in 25mg doses. Therefore, half of a delta-8 gummy would be 12.5mg, and a full gummy would be 25mg. Producers assume that delta-8 is less than half as potent as regular THC, so a 25mg delta-8 gummy might produce effects similar to a 10mg THC gummy.

It is crucial to recognize that limited research has been conducted on delta-8, making it challenging to determine its exact potency and effects on the body. As with any cannabis product, factors such as the chemical composition of the specific strain, individual body chemistry, tolerance levels, mindset, and environment all influence the experience.

It is advisable to start with a small amount and wait for the onset of effects before considering additional consumption. The method of consumption will also affect the timing of the effects. If vaping delta-8, effects may be felt within ten minutes or less, whereas with edibles, it is recommended to wait at least an hour or two before considering further consumption.

Is Delta-8 Safe?

The safety of delta-8 THC products is a matter of concern, especially when it comes to untested and unlicensed products obtained from the unregulated market. The primary risk lies in purchasing delta-8 THC vape cartridges from unregulated sources.

In the past, the illicit market for THC vape cartridges saw cases of contamination with harmful substances like toxic vitamin E acetate, leading to numerous hospitalizations and deaths. Similar risks may exist with delta-8 THC cartridges obtained outside of legally licensed cannabis stores.

To ensure safety, it is recommended to obtain delta-8 THC products from reputable and licensed sources. These sources adhere to regulatory standards and subject their products to testing, reducing the potential dangers associated with unregulated and untested delta-8 THC products.

How Delta-8 is Produced:

Delta-8, a cannabinoid found in cannabis and hemp plants, is primarily sourced from hemp due to its legal availability. The production process involves extracting CBD from hemp, refining it into an isolate, and then synthesizing the CBD isolate into delta-8. This extensive processing makes delta-8 more costly to produce compared to CBD, but the high demand for delta-8 helps balance out the production cost.

Finding Safe and Reliable Delta-8 Products:

Given the novelty of delta-8 in the market, it can be challenging to find trustworthy products that actually contain delta-8 as claimed. When searching for delta-8 products, it’s important to visit the producer’s website and look for information regarding their sourcing and manufacturing methods.

Reputable products undergo quality testing and often feature a QR code or batch number on the packaging, allowing consumers to access test results on the producer’s website. It is crucial to steer clear of products that lack testing or have questionable test results, as they may not contain delta-8 or could potentially contain harmful substances.

Enrico Bratta

Enrico Bratta

Medical cannabis professional based in Phuket, Thailand.


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Enrico Bratta

Medical cannabis professional based in Phuket, Thailand.