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According to a 2019 Gallup poll, 12% of American adults smoke weed. Likewise, 66% of Americans favor legalizing marijuana. Altogether, there is more use of and support for cannabis than ever before.
That use and support may increase thanks to a new discovery: Delta 8 THC. One of over 113 cannabinoids in cannabis, Delta 8 THC may offer a milder high and could be legal at the federal level.
If you are at all involved or interested in cannabis, it’s worth learning more. Keep reading!
What Is Delta 8 THC?
If you are involved with cannabis at all, you probably know that tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the psychoactive compound in cannabis. You might also know that Delta 9 THC is the most common THC compound.
However, cannabis also contains Delta 8, an analog of Delta 9. After Delta 9 has been stored for a while, it starts to degrade, producing Delta 8 THC.
The primary difference is a change in a single molecular bond. In Delta 9, that bond occurs on the ninth carbon atom. But in Delta 8, it occurs on (you guessed it) the eighth carbon atom.
How Is Delta 8 THC Different?
Perhaps the easiest way to think about Delta 8 THC is on a scale between Delta 9 THC and CBD (which contains no THC). Delta 8 has about half the potency of Delta 9.
For this reason, Delta 8 offers a smoother, milder high, with less risk of anxiety or paranoia. Likewise, you experience less of that stereotypical spacey, stoned feeling.
The even better news is, depending on who you purchase it from, products with Delta 8 can be significantly cheaper than their Delta 9 counterparts. It also provides all the alleged health benefits of CBD.
Manufacturers also prefer it because Delta 8 THC is more shelf-stable than Delta 9 THC. However, because Delta 9 is so much more common, getting enough Delta 8 for products requires more refining and processing.
The Legal Situation
The legal status of Delta 8 is still a bit murky. Delta 9 THC is definitely still illegal at the federal level, and CBD is definitely legal. In the summer of 2020, the DEA added Delta 8 to the list of illegal cannabis compounds.
However, according to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp is legal and Delta 8 can come from hemp. As a result, manufacturers can assume that making Delta 8 THC derived from hemp is legal.
In essence, legality depends on the manufacturing process. The most common way, and the easiest, to produce Delta 8 is by synthetically altering CBD. But this process is still illegal. Legally, you can only derive Delta 8 from hemp.
In other words, if all the hype around Delta 8 has you wondering, “Where are the closest head shops near me?”, you still want to check the laws in your state and how the Delta 8 was derived.
All the Benefits Without (Maybe) Breaking the Law
Altogether, Delta 8 THC offers a smooth and mild high, for less money than Delta 9 and, hopefully, without any trouble from the law. Nevertheless, the legal situation is ongoing and changing fast, so keep an eye on it.
For more articles on the law or health and fitness, browse some of our other posts.