Delta 8 THC seems to exist in a legal gray area providing cannabis’ pleasant effects through hemp-derived products. But what exactly is this trendy new cannabinoid? And is it legal to buy across the country? Here’s an in-depth look at everything you need to know about Delta 8 before trying it yourself.
Delta 8 THC definition and effects
Delta 8 THC is one of over 120 active compounds identified so far in cannabis plants. Its molecular structure features a double bond in the 8th position along its carbon chain – differing slightly from the more common Delta 9 THC we typically associate with marijuana. Despite tiny structural differences, delta 8 still connects to the same CB1 receptors in our brains and bodies that make marijuana’s high so potent. Effects feel clear-headed, energetic, and motivating compared to delta 9’s more intoxicating, sedative properties. Therapeutic benefits helping anxiety, nausea, and pain all come through as well, just mildly more functional for going about daily activities.
Does delta 8 come from?
The delta 8 vape appears naturally in tiny traces in most cannabis strains, concentrations are far too low for commercial extraction. Instead nearly all delta 8 products today come from chemically altering CBD from legal hemp into delta 8 through isolation and laboratory conversion. The 2018 Farm Bill federally legalized cannabis plants and derivatives containing less than 0.3% delta 9 THC by dry weight. Since delta 8 comes from CBD originally sourced from these now-legal hemp plants, its production, and sales fall under the same protections – at least theoretically. Ongoing legal contention exists over whether chemically altering CBD into delta 8 is fully allowable under federal laws seeking to ban synthetic cannabinoids. But as of yet, no formal regulation explicitly prohibits or approves the process leaving things open for interpretation and challenges either way.
How is Delta 8 Being Used?
Despite its murky legal status, delta 8 remains widely available through online shops and physical stores selling hemp products. Most frequent use cases include:
- Vape cartridges & liquids – Pre-filled disposable cartridges offering easy fuss-dosing perfection for adult users seeking THC-like euphoria.
- Edibles like gummies – Precisely dosed edibles lasting hours longer than vaping for longer activities or all day cover from discomforts.
- Tinctures & oils – Unflavored cannabinoid oils with droppers allow DIY edible crafting or adding delta 8 into food/drinks.
- Flower buds – Skirting legal lines even more, some companies now sell dried, smokable hemp flower sprayed with delta 8 concentrate allowing old-school joints or bowls.
Delta 8’s appeal over traditional cannabis lies in milder psychoactive strength allowing functional productivity rather than strongly impairing users. New consumers also appreciate the legal advantages of buying online easily compared to recreational dispensary purchases in legal states. Until updated federal laws provide more certainty either way, delta 8 remains in high demand across the US today. Reputable companies submit newly produced delta 8 oil batches for independent third-party testing before selling to consumers. Lab reports confirm potency accuracy for dosing along with screening for any potential contaminants like heavy metals, pesticides, or residual solvents that concentrate during extraction.