Cannabinoids have become mainstream over the past decade. The cannabis and hemp industries have reached a new milestone, with consumers becoming more aware and well-versed with various cannabinoids that can be found in cannabis and hemp plants.
From CBD to THC and even to the rarer cannabinoids like CBN, CBG and THCV, consumers are learning more about cannabinoids and how to utilize them for their potentially therapeutic properties. Cannabinoids could help you reduce stress, manage pain, stimulate appetite, and more.
If you consider yourself a cannabinoid aficionado, you probably know the proper name for THC, the cannabinoid most known for the "high" feeling, is delta-9 THC or Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. But did you know delta-9 is far from a lone form of THC? There is a new cannabinoid gaining traction in the cannabis and hemp industries called delta-8 THC. So, what is it?
Breaking Down Delta-8
Delta-8 THC occurs in all cannabis and hemp plants in very small concentrations, with most of the Delta-8 THC available being produced from hemp plants. Though research surrounding all cannabinoids is relatively new and emerging, there is less knowledge in the direction of minor cannabinoids compared to the primary ones like delta-9 THC or CBD.
Delta-8 THC is a minor cannabinoid found in cannabis and hemp plants. Delta-8 THC is a relative of Delta-9 THC, with a similar molecular structure, but with a few notable differences. The two share similar properties, like potentially stimulating appetite or reducing pain, but delta-8 THC reportedly exhibits a lower psychoactive impact than delta-9 THC.
From a chemical standpoint, delta-8 THC and delta-9 THC differ based on the location of a double bind in the molecular chain. Delta-8 THC contains the bond on the 8thcarbon chain while delta-9 THC has it on the 9thcarbon chain.
Though this is a small distinction in structure, there is a noticeable difference in how each impacts the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). Delta-8 THC can bind to CB1 receptors within the ECS, but less is known about the bonding with CB2 receptors.
The bond of delta-8 with CB1 receptors is similar to that of delta-9, but based on the molecular structure, the reaction is different. Users of Delta-8 THC have reported similar effects that like of traditional THC, but less amplified. The CB1 receptor within the ECS is largely responsible for moderating the psychoactive effects of THC, so the difference in bonding could be the reason for the reported reduction in psychoactive properties.
The reduced psychoactive effects of delta-8 could create a desirable middle ground between traditional THC and CBD, hosting therapeutic benefits without the "high."
To learn more about the benefits of delta-8, click here.
Is Delta-8 Even Legal?
While restrictions may vary state by state, like restrictions surrounding delta-9 THC, currently most delta-8 preparations are hemp-derived and fall under the legislation of 2018 Farm Bill. While delta-8 remains federally unregulated for now, more states are moving to implement regulations.
The 2018 Farm Bill has some vague positions surrounding traditional THC, stating all hemp and cannabis derived products must have less than 0.3% delta-9 THC threshold, creating a grey area for delta-8.
Michigan is at the forefront of new legislation with delta-8 being reined in byMichigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency beginning in October. Businesses selling delta-8 without licensing, testing or other regulations will be barred and must follow the same permitting and guidelines in place for recreational marijuana.
Hemp is not regulated under state marijuana laws in Michigan; however, all THC products will now be subject to appropriate licensing, testing, and tracking.
While more states move to implement regulations on delta-8, there is still an abundance of product available. As with any cannabinoid-based product, finding a safe and reliable source is key to getting all the benefits of a delta-8 THC product. Relying on third party lab test results is the best way to ensure you are getting a quality product that is not only safe and effective, but also within the legal parameters of delta-8 and delta-9 THC.
If you are interested in trying delta-8 THC, turn to Real Tested CBD and our independent lab test results and product reviews to choose the best product for you. We test for purity, potency and overall quality, ensuring you are getting what you want out of your delta-8 purchase.
To check out our resource page on delta-8 THC, click here.