A Beginner’s Guide To Delta 8

delta 8 thc popular

By now, you’ve definitely heard about delta 8.  Whether you’ve tried it, seen it on the news or in the stores, it’s everywhere these days.  Though its popularity has soared recently, you may still have some questions about this trendy cannabinoid.  Here is a complete guide to delta 8; everything you need to know.  Learn all about where delta 8 comes from, how it feels, and why we’re just hearing about it recently.

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What is delta 8?

Delta 8 is one of many naturally occurring cannabinoids found in cannabis.  Other examples include CBD, CBG, and THC.  That THC we’ve been hearing about for decades?  That’s actually delta-9-THC.  So, yes, delta 8 is actually a  form of THC.  It was first discovered in the 1940s by American chemist Roger Adams.  Naturally, delta 8 only occurs in trace amounts.  Both delta 9 and CBD typically make up a larger percentage of the cannabis plant than delta 8.  

Since delta 8 makes up such a small percentage of the cannabis plant, for years it remained a largely unknown topic outside of the world of chemistry.  In 2002, “Grandfather of Cannabis” Raphael Mechoulam filed for a patent for his process of isomerization.  This method could be used to convert naturally abundant CBD into delta 8.

Why now?

That was 2002; how come delta 8 has only become mainstream recently?  This recent attention is due to the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp on a federal level.  The intent of the bill was to allow farmers to produce hemp for things like clothing and fibers, and food.  However, unintentionally, the bill legalized all cannabinoids (psychoactive or not), as long as they came from hemp instead of cannabis.  In legal terms, hemp is defined as cannabis that contains .3% or less of delta 9 THC.

Finally, it was delta 8’s time to shine.  Delta 8 emerged onto the scene as a federally legal alternative to traditional cannabis in states that had not yet legalized recreational cannabis.  Even in states with legal pot, delta 8 could essentially be sold anywhere.  So whether out of curiosity or necessity, the cannabinoid skyrocketed in popularity.  

Delta 8 vs delta 9

To guide you through the main differences between delta 8 and 9, we need to understand a bit of chemistry.  A ninth carbon atom with a double bond is found in delta 9, while, you guessed it, delta 8’s double bond is on the eighth carbon atom.  While this might seem like a trivial difference, the placement of the double bond means a lot.  Delta 8 has a lesser affinity for the CB1 receptors in our endocannabinoid system than delta 9.  The bond that a cannabinoid has with these receptors determines the high a user will experience.  For comparison, CBD doesn’t bind to these receptors which is why it doesn’t get us high.

Since delta 8 is less potent than delta 9, users often describe their experience as a “gentler high”.  This Leafly writer even went so far as to call the high “energizing”.  For many, the reduced potency is a good thing.  The high offers less potential for anxiety and paranoia than delta 9.  As a matter of fact, this survey yielded extremely positive results.  Many participants characterized their high as being full of relaxation and euphoria.

Is delta 8 legal?

Certain state legislators were not happy when they realized the whole country could get high legally.  Some have pushed for reasonable regulations to increase safety, while others have outright banned delta 8 altogether.  The laws are constantly changing; definitely stay up-to-date with what’s going on in your state.  Check out this guide to delta 8 legality by state to get an overview of laws that have been passed after the Farm Bill (current as of August 2023).

The bottom line

So, whether you’re looking for a legal high, live too far from the dispensary, or you’re just after a more pleasant experience all around, delta 8 is the cannabinoid for you.  I personally love that I don’t feel as burnt out when the high wears off.  I even find that I can still focus on tasks and go on with my day without becoming as easily distracted and anxious as I do with delta 9.  Shop our collection for convenient online ordering delivered straight to your door.  No hassles, no worries, just an easygoing, mellow high you can actually enjoy.