2023: did anyone else think we would have flying cars and a four day work week by now? What we do have is an ever growing cannabis market to fly us high without the help of airborne cars not yet available to the public (c’mon Musk, we know you’re hiding them from us!). The US remains divided in terms of what is and is not permitted within state borders, and as a result, we’ve seen an explosion of different cannabinoids that were virtually unknown to the average person just five years ago. The most popular have been CBD, Delta 8, and HHC. But what is delta 8, and why has it soared in popularity in recent years?
What is delta 8?
Delta 8 was initially discovered and partially synthesized in the 1940s by American chemist Roger Adams (who was utterly fascinating- read more about him here). Unfortunately, his research was way ahead of his time and many of his discoveries wouldn’t be broadly used until many years later. In 1965, Israeli chemist Raphael Mechoulam managed to completely synthesize delta 8 and continued his cannabis research straight into the 2000s. Luckily, Mechoulam was working in Israel and was not forced to abide by the strict US regulations regarding hemp and cannabis. Basically, Adams walked so Mechoulam could run and we are indebted to both of these men for much of what we know today.
Delta 8 occurs naturally in cannabis in trace amounts which made enjoying the cannabinoid rather difficult. CBD, on the other hand, is much more prevalent. Mechoulam finally changed the game in 2002 when he filed for a patent for his process called “isomerization”. Isomerization is the chemical process which converts CBD to delta 8. Unfortunately, marijuana and hemp were still both prohibited in the US on a federal level. The country wasn’t ready to acknowledge the many benefits of hemp in any form, or even the potential profit that could be earned from taxing and legalizing such a useful plant.
Why is delta 8 so popular recently?
The recent emergence of cannabinoids on the market can be explained by the 2018 Farm Bill. This bill declared hemp legal on a federal level in the United States. Finally, farmers could start producing this insanely useful crop for things like clothing, paper, rope, and even cosmetic products. Hemp is literally the exact same plant as marijuana except for the fact that it contains less than .3% delta 9 THC. Now that hemp could be grown without issue, it paved the way for those interested to use this plant to harvest cannabinoids for recreational use.
Because delta 8 can be made from hemp-derived CBD, people figured out that they could legally manufacture this cannabinoid for recreational use even in states where cannabis is still banned. This lucky loophole is responsible for the massive uptick in popularity of cannabinoids that were previously unknown to the average person. While CBD has gained a reputation for its calming effects, pain relief, and sleep aid, it still does not contain any psychoactive components. Yes, it will help you relax, no it will not get you high. Enter delta 8, which offers all the benefits of CBD in addition to a less anxious high than traditional delta 9 THC.
Since delta 8 could be marketed all over the country, its popularity has sky rocketed. According to this article on Forbes, researchers have found that across the world, delta 8 searches have increased by 257% from 2019 to 2020, and by an astounding 705% from 2020 to 2021. The rate of these searches was ten times higher in the US in 2021 than it was in other countries.
As delta 8 becomes more popular, fifteen states have banned its use, while others struggle to understand what it is and what the laws are. In November 2021, a Georgia grocery store was raided by police who seized over $30,000 worth of delta 8 products. The police argued that these products contained THC so they were not legal in the state of Georgia. Owner Sahil Kumar’s attorney confirmed that delta 8 was in fact legal according to Georgia’s hemp laws, and the police were forced to return everything.
I find delta 8 perfect for day time activities, or work. My job involves a lot of human interaction, and the effects are perfect to feel relaxed but still able to maintain a normal conversation without giving myself away. I am a cannabis smoker, and it is legal recreationally in my state, but the nearest dispensary is forty-five minutes away and prices are still outrageous. DVNT has a wide variety of delta 8 pre-rolls or blunts that can be delivered directly to your door. I personally love the shapeshifter pineapple pre-rolls and am even enjoying one currently.