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What is Delta 8?

You've probably heard about, and may have likely have experienced, the benefits of cannabis derived tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This form of THC is also referred to as Delta 9 THC and is the most common form of THC available. But it is not the only THC found in the the cannabis plant.

In 1965 Dr. Raphael Mechoulam discovered another cannabinoid, referred to as Delta 8. The difference between Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC just merely has to do with a slight change in the structure of the chemical bond, but it was shown to carry different properties. And while Delta 8 does exist in the cannabis plant, it is only found at a very low percentage of total cannabinoids in the plant. Due to this fact, limited research has been able to be performed due to the low quantity available and cost of extraction. But some research has been performed on Delta 8 THC.

In 1975, researches discovered that Delta 8 does have the ability to shrink cancerous tumors in rats. In 1986, scientists had also found that it has the ability to increase acetylcholine (ACh) in brains of rats and mice. Low levels of acetylcholine (ACh) can typically be found in Alzheimer's and dementia patients, and Delta 8 may actually be able to increase and improve memory. Finally, in 1995, Israeli scientists administered Delta 8 to pediatric cancer patients. After 480 treatments of a high- dose Delta 8, 100% of the pediatric patients reported feeling relief from chemotherapy-induced nausea.

It is important to note that this research has still been very limited in scope and no medical benefits have been proven. Hopefully, in the near future, we will see much more medical research performed on Delta 8 THC to determine the true benefits of this cannabinoid.

So what has changed now and why are we now hearing more about Delta 8?

Recently, the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, also known as the 2018 Farm Bill was signed into law. This legislation states that all derivatives of hemp (cannabinoids, analogs, etc.) are completely legal in the United States as long as they don't contain more than .3% of Delta 9 THC. This legislation has further allowed CBD companies to flourish and experiment with the varieties of cannabinoids, including CBD, CBG, CBN, CBG, CBD, and others. It also gave room for CBD labs and manufacturers to work with hemp in deriving Delta 8. So as once, we were solely limited to extracting it from cannabis, we now are able to derive it solely from hemp and in much larger quantities.

OK, so let's get to it. What are the benefits of Delta 8 and will it get me "high"?

So now that Delta 8 is more readily available, we can definitely let you know that it does get you "high". There are differences between the high in Delta 9 THC and Delta 8 though. What most consumers experience with Delta 8 though is a light euphoric high without the "paranoia", that can be commonly associated with Delta 9. Delta 8 consumers often refer to the high as more of a calmness and clarity. Other benefits that consumers have stated to experience are:

  • Increased sense of relaxation and more restful night's sleep

  • Reduction in stress related anxiety

  • Reduction in nausea amongst chemo therapy patients

  • Improvement in memory due to an increase in acetylcholine

  • Increase in energy and productivity and increased ability to focus

  • Anti-inflammatory and pain relief

Will I test positive on a drug test for marijuana "THC"?

Even though Delta 8 is completely derived from hemp, due to the close chemical bond relation to Delta 9, Delta 8 will most likely "trigger" a positive test for marijuana. Testing labs used by CBD companies are able to differentiate between Delta 8 and Delta 9, when testing products to be consumed. However, drug testing currently does not have the same analysis and is unable to determine the difference between the two cannabinoids.

Is Delta 8 Legal?

The 2018 Farm Bill allows for the consumption and production of cannabinoids, as long as the product consumed, is less than the .3% of Delta 9 THC. There is a lot of misinformation surrounding the legalities of Delta 8. Most industry experts and attorneys reviewing the legislation feel that as long as the product does contain less than .3% of Delta 9, it is covered under the 2018 Farm Bill. With that said, it is very important to purchase from a reliable retailer and a lab analysis provided, showing the product contains less than the .3% of Delta 9 THC. In addition, check your local and state local and state laws, prior to purchase.

In Review

Delta 8 THC may be the most exciting cannabinoid to be mass produced since the 2018 Farm Bill was signed into legislation. While, I'd be fearful to refer to it as any kind of miracle drug, it is exciting to see the benefits of this new legal THC for consumers. As more research and experiments are conducted on Delta 8, it will definitely be a cannabinoid to watch.