Much to the dismay of hardworking cannabis companies who operate under the strict confines of the law, Delta-8 THC is one of the most talked about products in the cannabis industry.

It, seemingly, came out of nowhere–this new, supposedly revolutionary product that promises relief and relaxation, enough to rival that of marijuana without the fear of catching a misdemeanor. For now, anyway.

You’ve seen the street peddlers walking up and down the block with their colorful carts promising feel-good relief in a vaporized cartridge. Or maybe you’ve noticed the large signage adorning your local gas station that reads “Delta-8 Sold Here!” But why is Delta-8 THC so popular? What even is it? Well, here is everything you need to know about the illusive Delta-8.

What Is Delta-8 THC?

Including the more well-known cannabinoids like CBD and Delta-9 THC, there are over 100 active cannabinoids (that we currently know of) in the cannabis plant.  One of these cannabinoids, an isomer of Delta-9 THC, is Delta-8 Tetrahydrocannabinol. Delta-8 is a minor cannabinoid that can either be naturally produced in cannabis in minute amounts or chemically derived from CBD isolate.

Despite popular belief that Delta-8 THC, similar to Delta-9, is beneficial for alleviating insomnia, pain, nausea, and anxiety, emerging research paints a different picture. Evidence suggests that these synthetic cannabinoids may actually induce anxiety and paranoia. This is supported by an increase in hospitalizations and even the tragic death of a child linked to these substances. Contrary to claims of their therapeutic effects, these cannabinoids, rather than being identical to marijuana in benefits, might pose significant health risks.

The obscurity around Delta-8 THC’s legality originates from this fact alone: it is produced from the hemp plant. Delta-8 THC products will get you high, and although the effects are said to be substantially less intoxicating than natural Delta-9 THC from the marijuana plant. It is this fact and the hemp industry’s push for the “legality” and novelty of the compound that contributes to Delta-8 THC’s high demand. It will also produce what is called the delta-8 head ache. After smoking delta-8 many users report increase anxiety and a headache.

The status of Delta-8 THC lies in somewhat of a grey area, and over a dozen states have placed bans or restrictions on Delta-8 products. After passing the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp was removed from the DEA Schedule 1 Drug List and was approved to be grown, distributed, and consumed legally anywhere within the United States.

Most of the dangers surrounding Delta-8 Tetrahydrocannabinol lie within our lack of knowledge of it. Delta-8 THC is most commonly produced by adding acids and solvents to CBD isolate. Organizations manufacturing Delta-8 properly should undergo extensive measures (including testing) to ensure the product is “safe.” Because the chemicals needed to catalyze this reaction are caustic, and it’s possible to inadvertently create toxic byproducts in the process, it can easily result in Delta-8 products that are not manufactured cleanly or safe to consume. Isolated CBD is made from hemp fiber crops that are turned into biomass.

Delta-8 is sold in many forms. It is commonly condensed into solid substances like gummies or candies but can also be found in capsules and oil, and even more often, it can be seen in vaporized cartridges.

The Dangers Of Delta-8 THC

Delta-8 THC is a tool for the industry to consume mass amounts of unmarketable CBD isolate available today — creating one low-quality product from another. Because of this, it is considered “a legal loophole,” where the lack of structure and federal supervision over the Delta-8 THC market raises concerns about harmful substances that might be found within these products. 

Due to the lack of regulation within the market, Delta-8 THC products are at risk of being manufactured amongst or mixed (both purposefully and unintentionally) with harmful heavy metals and unexpected toxins.

Another concern for the coveted compound lies in its production simplicity. Even in the comforts of one’s home, anybody can make their batch of Delta-8 by mixing over-the-counter CBD isolate with battery acid, pool chemicals, or even vinegar. This reason alone should render consumers cautious about the products they’re purchasing.

Due to Delta-8’s lack of regulation, cannabis companies–who operate within the lines of the law and are interested solely in creating a legitimized cannabis market–are feeling snubbed. Delta-8 THC manufacturers can cut their prices to more competitive rates because they avoid licensing fees and can sell products that aren’t adequately tested. This newfound novelty competition within the cannabis industry negatively affects the business of companies that produce cannabis products legally and safely. Many of the delta-8 manufactures can be linked to roots that ae not in the United States but other countries trying to covertly move the U.S. cannabis market.

Companies that produce and sell Delta-8 THC products risk severe legal consequences once the FDA and the DEA finalize laws that specify the legality of Delta-8. With a large number of cannabis manufacturers enraged, likely, Delta-8’s lack of regulation will not go overlooked for much longer.

To progress the cannabis industry forward and legitimize it to those on the fence, we must remain focused on the medicinal benefits of cannabis and stop expecting the novelty market to do the job.

Delta-8 VS. Delta-9

Delta-8 Tetrahydrocannabinol is a minor cannabinoid that naturally occurs–in deficient levels–in the cannabis plant.

More commonly known as THC, Delta-9 is the infamous psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant responsible for getting users “high.”

While their chemical structure is almost identical, the most significant difference between Delta-8 and Delta-9 lies in the placement of their chemical bonds: Delta-8’s double bond lies on the 8th carbon chain, whereas Delta-9’s double bond resides on the 9th carbon chain. While this difference may seem unimportant, the variance in the location of the two cannabinoid double bonds determines the physical and psychical reactions within a person’s body after intake.

Upon inhalation, Delta-8 binds to the CB1 receptor of a person’s Endocannabinoid System. The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is a multifaceted, cell-signaling system that impacts memory, mood, sleep, and appetite. The ECS functions to achieve homeostasis within the body. Although our body naturally produces endocannabinoids to regulate this system on its own, cannabinoids like THC and CBD can also be consumed to alter this system. External cannabinoids bind to receptors in the ECS to protect and regulate bodily functions like cell communication, metabolism, and immune system functionality.

Though far less potent than the more commonly known Delta-9, Delta-8 THC is highly coveted because of its similarity to the effects of smoking marijuana. Users of Delta-8 have reported feelings of euphoric highs. In addition, Delta-8 is marketed to curb insomnia, however, studies show that THC does not allow you to enter the REM phase of the sleep cycle.  Side effects of Delta-8 THC are similar to those of Delta-9, possibly causing dry eyes and mouth, paranoia, and anxiety. So it seems like reckless marketing to say it might decrease when users are going to the hospital because of the effects of the product.

Everybody differs in their chemical structure, so how Delta-8 reacts within a user’s system can vary from person to person. It is a single synthetic man-made chemical that is based on one that naturally occurs in the cannabis plant. Users should beware….

Why CBD Oil Is Better…

Compared with CBD, Delta-8 THC fits into the novelty market of cannabis use, it distracts from the focus on the actual benefits of this versatile plant.

On the other hand, CBD functions primarily as a supplemental balance to our Endocannabinoid System (ECS), Endocannabinoid System (ECS), providing relief from depression, anxiety, insomnia, and pain. CBD Oil has been known to treat multiple forms of epilepsy, alleviate cancer-related symptoms, and even reduce cancer cells within the body. It has also been suggested that CBD can lower blood pressure and prevent cognitive decline in patients with Alzheimer’s.

Where THC binds to a person’s CB1 receptor, CBD binds to both CB1 and CB2 receptors. Unlike Delta-8 THC, CBD is nonintoxicating and safe to take before driving or partaking in complicated locomotive tasks. CBD will not get you high, but its medical benefits can make users happier and more relaxed.

We believe in the benefits of natural THCA that is in the cannabis plant, hemp-derived synthetic cannabinoids we start against. 

Contrary to popular belief, Delta-8 THC is not legal simply because it is derived from hemp–and its vague legality will not be left unanswered for long. Once Delta-8 can be better defined, its federal acceptance will likely change. Not only is consuming CBD much safer than consuming Delta-8 THC because it is 100% legal but the benefits of Delta-8 cannot be compared to the extensive list of the long-term benefits of CBD use. Here at Bluegrass Hemp Oil, despite common misconceptions, we believe that the law is evident because Delta-8 THC is not legal. Everyone should be aware that Kentucky State Police are beginning to crack down on businesses that are selling Delta-8 products.

Although we don’t recommend it, if you decide that you have to try the newest craze of the cannabis industry, we want you to be safe. If you’re purchasing Delta-8, we ask that you do your own research before you buy any Delta-8 product. Please ensure that the product has been tested and has proof of trying somewhere on the product’s website or label.

There is still a lot of research yet to be conducted on Delta-8 Tetrahydrocannabinol, and for this reason alone, users should be cautious when it comes to consuming these products. Bluegrass Hemp Oil does not support the use of Delta-8 and advises against it.

Still, Confused?

We get it–this stuff can be confusing! So, here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Like Delta-9 THC and CBD, Delta-8 is a cannabinoid in the cannabis plant; however, most of the Delta-8 THC products on today’s market are chemically derived from mixing CBD isolate with solid isolate acids and solvents. Yuck!
  • Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC are similar cannabinoids with similar effects but differ in production and chemical makeup. Both are being made today from isolated hemp…Yuck!
  • Delta-8 THC properties will get you high, with a headache, but the lack of regulation within the Delta-8 market holds concerns for the safety of products. As well as a child died from eating delta-8 gummies.  Double Yuck!
  • Delta-8 THC is not legal, and even though it is straightforward to come by in vape shops and gas stations, the obscurity behind Delta-8’s legality will not be left unanswered for much longer. Fake shouldn’t be allowed that can harm while natural cannabis in not allowed.
  • Bluegrass Hemp Oil does not support the use of Delta-8 products, but if you are consuming Delta-8, please do proper research and educate yourself about the product in question to ensure your safety.