What Is Delta 8?
Delta-8 THC (also known as Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol) is a naturally occurring chemical compound called a cannabinoid, present in minute traces in cannabis (marijuana) and hemp plants. Owing to its growing popularity, it is widely available, from the shelves of convenience stores to boutique marijuana dispensaries.
In what ways does it differ from Delta-9-THC (regular marijuana)?
Why is Delta-8 in such high demand currently? To begin with, it shares a lot of structural similarities with its famous cousin, Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-9-THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that gets you “high”.
Both Delta-8 and Delta-9 are types of THC. However, when people talk about THC, they typically mean Delta-9, which is present in large amounts in marijuana. Both these compounds induce an elated, fuzzy feeling, but Delta-8 causes a milder high.
In fact, people frequently refer to Delta-8 as “diet weed” or “marijuana-lite.” Additionally, in its case, other typical THC side effects like paranoia, anxiety, and sleepiness are less potent.
Is Delta-8 Legal?
Unlike THC, which is subject to strict regulation, Delta-8 is generally legal to use, which is another factor contributing to its rising popularity. That is because it’s primarily produced from hemp-derived CBD, which is grown legally throughout the United States.
However, the legal status of Delta-8 is murky. The Agriculture and Nutrition Improvement Act of 2018 (the so-called Federal Farm Bill), which is responsible for hemp’s legality, removed it and its byproducts from the list of controlled substances. The reason is its low THC content (less than 0.3%). Any mention of Delta-8 is absent from the bill. The hemp proponents and other vendors use this loophole for legally marketing Delta-8 products, usually without age restrictions. Consequently, it has become the hemp product with the fastest growth rate.
Chemists and other scientists are worried about safety because there is little regulation or laboratory testing of the ingredients used in Delta-8 products. Products having a “Delta-8” label may have contaminants, such as substantial levels of THC. Consequently, a dozen states, including New York and Colorado, are starting to limit or forbid the use of Delta-8.
Where Can You Get It?
Delta-8 products are available over-the-counter in convenience stores, weed and vape shops, gas stations, and online. People can purchase it as edibles, drinks, candies, gummies, tinctures, oils, pens for vaping, joints, or oils.
It is significant to note that the ingredient list and quality control for these products are both lacking. Additionally, since CBD doesn’t get you high, it’s easy to mistake Delta-8 products for CBD.
Is It Safe?
The effect of Delta-8 on your general health has not been adequately studied or supported by data. Many people have mentioned (primarily via social media posts) the usage of Delta-8 in addition to their prescription medications to treat depression and substance use. According to the users, Delta-8 can also:
- Calm nausea
- Increase appetite
- Ease pain relief
- Boost mental health
- Prevent vomiting during cancer treatments
The majority of these advantages, according to experts, come from word of mouth, and there isn’t enough research on how they affect your health. Just because something is readily available doesn’t guarantee its complete safety.
Several people have noted side effects like:
- Fast heart rate (tachycardia)
- Slow heart rate (bradycardia)
- Low blood pressure (hypotension)
If you use Delta-8 products and experience any of these side effects, immediately visit your doctor. Call 911 if it’s an emergency, or go to a nearby hospital. Get immediate medical attention if a child consumes or gets exposed to Delta-8 products, such as gummies or candies.
Will You Test Positive for THC?
Since Delta-8 is a type of THC, you might test positive. Drug tests frequently look for Delta-9 traces, but Delta-8 may also test positive for THC. People respond to cannabinoids differently depending on the product they use and how long they use it, whether it be Delta-8 or Delta-9.
Commercial urine drug tests do not currently distinguish between various cannabinoids. So, it is best to avoid Delta-8 products if you have a drug test coming up.