Delta-8 THC, also known as delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol, is a cannabinoid found in cannabis and hemp plants. Cannabinoids are molecular compounds found in hemp and cannabis plants that interact with the human endo-cannabinoid system.
Hemp and cannabis are actually the same species, cannabis sativa, but have different legal and regulatory definitions. For a plant to be called cannabis, it must naturally contain over 0.3% THC. Any cannabis plants that produce less than .3% THC are known as hemp. Delta-9 THC is federally regulated because it produces the psychotropic effects we commonly associate with cannabis.
It is important to distinguish between delta-9 and delta-8 because the government does not regulate them in the same way. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp federally, including the cannabinoids apart from delta-9 THC within. Delta-8 naturally occurs in negligible amounts within cannabis or hemp plants. However, with innovations in the industry, we can now isolate delta-8, which increases its concentration and potential as a marketable product.
Delta-8 and delta-9 are pretty close but have one significant difference that separates them. In their molecular structure, each contains a carbon strain. Each has a double bond within this carbon chain, but for delta-8, it is located on the eighth bond, whereas for delta-9, it is on the ninth. Scientists believe the placement of this bond impacts how the cannabinoid binds to our CB1 receptor, creating the sensation of feeling “high.”
While both forms of THC can create psychotropic effects, delta-9 is reportedly much stronger. Users of delta-8 THC products find that the level of intoxication is milder than cannabis.
Does delta-8 get you high?
Yes, delta-8 THC does get you high. The molecular structure between this cannabinoid and Delta-9 THC in cannabis is close enough to create similar effects in the body.
CBD, conversely, does not contain the double bond and so does not have a psychotropic effect on the body. While it does have a host of beneficial benefits, the molecular structure is different, so it cannot bind to the CB1 receptor as THC can. For people who enjoy the benefits of CBD and want something a little more substantial, trying a delta-8 flower is a great next step.
Users of delta-8 THC report consumption produced feelings of euphoria, relaxation and mild sedation. The classic symptoms of dry mouth, red eyes, and a strong desire to snack can also occur after consuming delta-8 THC. Anxiety and paranoia, which can sometimes arise with cannabis use, are often reported to occur less with delta-8 products. For recreational CBD users, delta-8 is a good alternative if you want to try something stronger but are concerned about being overwhelmed by the experience.
Many users notice that delta-8 buds don’t produce an overwhelming level of intoxication. However, each person will experience delta-8 THC differently due to varying tolerance levels.