No doubt you’ve heard of THC, the psychoactive component in cannabis that makes you high but you may just be learning that there are various types of THC. While Delta-9 is the famous “standard '' THC, recently Delta-8 THC is getting its fair share of attention. So what is this new cannabinoid making its way into the cannabis scene?

What is delta-8 THC?

Delta-8 THC is a variety of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC--a compound found in the cannabis plant.

Similarities and Differences between Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC

They are both THC molecules so the effects are similar, but due to the difference in their composition, not identical. Both molecules bind to the endocannabinoid receptors in the body, producing a high but the difference in their structure may be responsible for the differences in the way the highs feel.

Delta-9 is famous for its heavy high—euphoria, relaxation, and pain relief—but the full experience may be too much for some people, resulting in paranoia and even anxiety. Compared to delta-8 seems to be a milder high—still plenty of happy feelings and a bit of relaxation, but with less potential for anxiety. It is important to note that due to the relative newness of the delta-8 molecule on the consumer market, it hasn’t been extensively researched by scientists so the reports of the differences are anecdotal.
The verdict from experienced cannabis consumers seems to be that delta-8 is more energizing and uplifting than delta-9, and some even report increased productivity—perhaps making it better suited for a daytime or afternoon experience.

While delta-9 THC is found in abundance throughout all strains of cannabis, including hemp, delta-8 is found in much smaller quantities. Most consumable delta-8 has been extracted from hemp derived CBD, as it is more readily available. The fact that delta-8 needs to be processed and concentrated results in a higher price point for consumers but on the other hand, since it is derived from hemp, delta-8 is sometimes available in states where other forms of THC are illegal.

Does Delta-8 THC Make You High?

Due to its chemical structure as a THC molecule, delta-8 does definitely get you high, but it does seem to be a lighter experience for most users—it is even called “diet weed” in some circles.

Of course, the strength varies with dose and product so for best results buy from trusted and tested sources.

Is Delta-8 THC Legal?

The legality of delta-8 can be confusing. Manufactured from hemp derived CBD, which is federally legal under the 2018 farm bill, delta-8 is still a form of THC which makes it illegal in some states—it is best described as a legal grey area. Some states, like Alaska, ban all forms of THC, while others allow recreational use of delta-9 but explicitly ban delta-8, like Colorado. The laws are ever changing and evolving so it may be best to check your state’s current laws before filling up your online shopping cart only to find out your retailer doesn’t ship to your state.

Why you should choose Delta-8 THC

If you are looking for a cannabis product with the benefits of THC but without a heavy high, delta-8 is worth a close look.