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Is Delta 8 THC Legal and Safe? What Is It? Where Does It Come From?

Is Delta 8 THC Legal and Safe? What Is It? Where Does It Come From?

Delta 8 THC

There has been much discussion about CBD in recent years, a cannabinoid compound extracted from the cannabis plant. Like a lock and key, CBD, along with the other cannabinoids, binds with the human body’s endocannabinoid receptors. Now, a new cannabinoid, Delta 8 THC, is enjoying immense popularity. Manufacturers of CBD products are seeing an increase in sales of products containing Delta 8 THC. However, there may be some confusion for many people, considering Federal law says that any product containing more than 0.3% Delta 9 THC is illegal.  

So, what is Delta 8 THC, and where does it come from?  Is Delta 8 THC legal in all 50 states? Is Delta 8 THC safe? And, will Delta 8 THC get you high? This article will answer those questions and more, so keep reading.

What is Delta 8 THC, And Where Does it Come From?

It’s one of the over 120 cannabinoid compounds found in the cannabis plant. Cannabis is a group of plants that includes hemp and marijuana. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound that has received a lot of discussion because of its therapeutic properties. People are discovering its use for pain relief, reducing anxiety, or just having an overall feeling of wellbeing.  

Another cannabinoid compound many people might be familiar with is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is known for giving people the feeling of euphoria or being “high.” When people discuss THC, they are actually referring to Delta 9 THC.  Marijuana produces a lot of Delta 9 THC 

Then, there’s Delta 8-THC. It’s another cannabinoid found in cannabis, but only in small amounts. That’s because the enzymes in the cannabis plant don’t produce Delta 8. Instead, Delta 9 THC oxidizes and degrades to create Delta 8 THC.  

How is Delta 8 THC Made?  

Since Delta 8 THC is found in small amounts, companies cannot produce natural extraction methods.  

Instead, they have a way to hurry the process by using a thin film distillation process. This method involves extracting Delta 9-THC, then isolating it to remove any impurities. Producers then convert and refine it to produce Delta 8-THC in more significant amounts.  

How Can You Use Delta 8 THC?  

Those who enjoy using CBD will be pleased to know that there are many of the same options to try Delta 8 THC.   

One popular way is by consuming Delta 8 THC gummies. Companies infuse an exact amount of Delta 8 THC into each gummy, which takes out the dosage guesswork. Also, gummies come in various flavors, making them a delicious way to try Delta 8 THC.  Several retailers sell Delta 8 THC flowers. They trim and treat hemp flowers are with Delta 8 THC for users to smoke.  

Other ways to use it are by vaping cartridges, vape pens, or tinctures are taken sublingually. Dabbing is another method where higher concentrations of Delta 8 THC are in wax or oil. Users heat the dabs and then inhale.  

Benefits and Side Effects of Delta 8 THC  

Is Delta 8 THC safe, and are there any health benefits of using it? Scientists need more research, but studies are promising in the following areas:  

Anti-Nausea

In a study of children with cancer, those who had Delta 8 THC before and after cancer treatments had no nausea or vomiting.  

Stimulates the appetite

Studies in rats found that low doses of Delta 8 THC can stimulate the appetite and increase food consumption.  

Anti-Anxiety

Delta 8 THC may help users reduce anxiety levels by binding with both the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the Endocannabinoid System. 

Inhibits the growth of tumors

One 2013 study believes that Delta 8 THC is one of the cannabinoids that inhibited adenocarcinoma cells’ growth.  

Pain relief

A 2018 study with mice showed that Delta 8-THC helped to lower pain and reduce inflammation.  

There don’t seem to be a lot of side effects, but those noted are:  

Feeling high

THC is the psychoactive component of cannabis, so Delta 8 THC will give users euphoria. However, it’s not quite as potent as Delta 9 THC.  

Eye redness 

More substantial doses of Delta 8 THC can cause the user to have redness around the eyes.  

Many studies of Delta 8 THC have been done on animals, so humans’ effects can be very different. A 2018 study found that while Delta 8 THC lowers the heart rate in animals, it had the opposite effect in humans and actually raised it.  

Delta 8 THC vs. Delta 9 THC: Understanding Their Differences  

Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC have a similar molecular chain. The difference is where they contain the double bond on their chain. Delta 8 THC contains the bond on the 8th carbon chain, whereas Delta 9 THC contains the double bond on the 9th carbon chain (hence the difference in names).  

Such a slight difference on the molecular level has a massive impact on how the body reacts to each compound. Even though both Delta 8 and Delta 9 bind to the CB1 receptors in the Endocannabinoid System, it’s how they bind that makes the difference.    

People who have used Delta 8 reported having better concentration, less anxiety, and feeling high without the paranoia associated with Delta 9. Also, users won’t feel high as potent as they might receive from Delta 9, thus earning Delta 8 the nickname of “marijuana lite.”  

Another significant difference between the two is that Delta 8 is notably more stable than Delta 9 and is slower to oxidize, giving it longer shelf life.  

Is Delta 8 THC Legal?  

The legality of Delta 8 THC is a gray area. The 2018 Farm Bill states that hemp and all products derived from hemp are legal as long as they contain less than 0.3%. Delta 9 THC. Therefore, proponents say that since Delta 8 THC comes from hemp, it is legal to sell and consume. However, it’s still important to know both state and local laws. For example, Idaho does not allow the sale of any hemp products. Read the brief history of hemp if you are interested to know more.

But, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) believes something different. In August 2020, they stated they consider any synthetically created cannabinoid as a Schedule 1 narcotic, essentially making the product illegal.  

This ruling causes a problem for the manufacturing and sale of Delta 8 THC products. Even though Delta 8 is a natural cannabinoid in cannabis, it’s in low concentrations. Since manufacturers use a chemical process to convert Delta 9 into Delta 8, it may be considered illegal.   

So, the legality of Delta 8-THC is not a simple yes or no answer.  

Where Can I Buy Delta 8-THC Products?  

The ability to buy Delta 8 THC products depends on the product and the customer’s home state.  

People who prefer the vaping method of consuming Delta 8 THC may be discouraged to know that December 27, 2020, COVID-19 relief bill amends the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (PACT) Act to include e-cigarettes and vaping products. This Act prohibits the United States Postal Service (USPS) from delivering these products. Additionally, both FedEx and UPS have stated that as of March 1, 2021, and April 5, 2021, respectively, they will be prohibiting the shipment of vaping products.  

However, a quick online search of “Delta 8 THC near me” can direct users to find brick-and-mortar locations for vaping products.  

Currently, several online and brick-and-mortar retailers sell other Delta 8 THC products, such as gummies or hemp CBD flowers infused with Delta 8 THC.  

The Bottom Line

The use of Delta 8 THC is on the rise and becoming increasingly popular across the country. Many entrepreneurs believe a loophole in regulations outlaw products containing Delta 9 THC since Delta 8 THC is derived from hemp and therefore legal under the 2018 Farm Bill.  

There are few studies on the benefits of Delta 8 THC. Still, they show promising results for inhibiting tumor growth, reducing pain and anxiety, stimulating the appetite, and eliminating nausea in pediatric cancer patients.   

It is a better option than Delta 9 THC for several reasons, including less psychoactive potency and more stable shelf life.   

Currently, Delta 8 THC is legal to sell and use on a Federal level, though State and local laws may vary. However, that may change. The DEA is looking for ways to regulate its sale and use.  

Therefore, anyone who wants to try Delta 8 THC should do it soon. What is legal now may soon become illegal.  

This article is for educating people about Delta 8 THC. Anyone considering trying it should consult a physician, especially people on medications. Furthermore, anyone under the age of 18 or who may pregnant or breastfeeding shouldn’t use it.

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