What the Heck is Delta-8?

Delta-8 THC, a molecule found in cannabis and hemp is causing quite a controversy in the cannabis industry.
Delta 8 in a cannabis greencross
Delta 8 THC in the molecule everyone is talking about.

In the ever-changing world of cannabis it can be hard to keep up with all the new terminology that describes what is available to us as the legal and medical markets expand and differ from state to state. Here, we explain what Delta-8 is and why you want to know about it. 

โ€œI find it ironic that the most dangerous thing about weed is getting caught with it.โ€

Bill Murray

While some of us have been waiting for our governors to legalize our favorite plant, others have found legal loopholes to assist smokers who want to toke without the fear of repercussion. 

See, Delta-8 is legal. Federally and in all 50 states in our nation. But what the heck is it? It looks like a duck, it sounds like a duck, but does it quack like a duck? Indeed it does. 

So, Exactly What is Delta-8?

Delta 8 with a Cannabis Flower
Delta 8 THC is a psychoactive molecule not quite as strong as Delta 9 THC.

Delta-8 is legit weed. It comes from the same cannabis hemp plants that produce what you find in dispensaries and backyards all over the country. However, the molecular make-up of the increasingly popular Delta-8 variety is what makes this duck legal, and not the other one. The only difference between cannabis and hemp is the THC Delta-9 content, so technically Delta-8 is legal hemp, and not federally illegal cannabis. 

In some ways, we are very fortunate that most politicians have no clue what theyโ€™re ducking talking about, especially when it comes to creating new legislation surrounding cannabis. This is where our legal loophole for delta-8 is created. In the ignorance of our lawmakers, stoners find ingenuity. 

Thanks to the gaping hole in the 2018 Farm Bill that legalized hemp products that contain less than .03% THC-9 specifically, coupled with massive breakthroughs in weed technology, this combined progress has enabled producers to grow cannabis plants that contain the legal limits of THC-9 while simultaneously containing huge percentages of THC-8, or Delta-8; upwards of a whopping 98%!

But Does Delta-8 Work?

โ€œThis agent exhibits a lower psychotropic potency than delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol.โ€

The National Cancer Institute

That being said, it still works to the effect most people seek, however it will take a lot more of Delta-8 THC to achieve that same effect. However, it still provides the equivalent medicinal value that medical marijuana patients often find helpful. 

Delta 8
Delta 8 is another psychoactive molecule found in cannabis and hemp.

This makes Delta-8 strains a great option for people who may not have access to a medical marijuana program, for whatever reason. Plus, you can find it almost anywhere these days. It is not uncommon to see Delta-8 products on shelves in uber-restrictive states like Idaho or Georgia. 

Delta-8 is also a good option for those who get the dreaded paranoia that can happen to novice smokers or those who are strongly affected by THC-9. Or maybe you just donโ€™t want to get super high every time. 

The Changing World of Legal Weed 

Guy smoking a joint
More and more people are looking for an alternative to Delta 9 THC.

Some people in the industry have referred to it as โ€œweed-liteโ€ mimicking the lite beers that are easier to put back and not as intoxicating for some people. Other companies have found a way to use the less intoxicating effects of Delta-8 to introduce cannabis to consumers who shy away from the idea of โ€˜getting stonedโ€. 

Either way, the market is demanding access to legal weed and producers are responding. Across the country, sales of Delta-8 products are skyrocketing, as reported by Leafly.com, an online resource for all things weed. At the same time, lawmakers are rushing to create new legislation to keep up with the inevitable: legalized marijuana at a federal level.

Ironically, states like Florida are at the very same time seeking to cap THC Delta-9 limits at medical dispensaries. An example of how that same ducking ignorance from lawmakers is affecting whether or not someone who is suffering a medical condition can access the same medicine they once used. If that cap occurs, Delta-8 may be their only hope until politicians come to their senses.  

The Delta-8 Dilema 

Small silicone chillum Pipe on metal rolling tray from Atomic Blaze Smoke Shop
You can smoke Delta 8 flower exactly the same as Delta 9.

It all comes down to different kinds of compounds found in the various cannabis plant strains and what current laws allow. We all know about the usual THC and CBD, but thereโ€™s way more to it than just those to compounds. What we have come to know and love is THC-9, and one slight and seemingly insignificant change makes a world of difference in states where it could mean the difference between catching a drug charge and being allowed to go on your Mary way. 

If you are looking for the health benefits of cannabis then youโ€™re in the right place. You might need to smoke a lot more than you would if the product youโ€™re consuming had THC Delta-9 but does produce a state of euphoria many people enjoy. All in all, itโ€™s worth a shot to try it because it definitely wonโ€™t kill you and might actually help. 

Delta-8 may not be the THC the majority of Americans voted for, but it is a step in the right direction and through the right loopholes that will eventually lead to legalization at a federal level. Whether youโ€™re a cannasseiur or just a once-in-a-while toker, Delta-8 is no joke. In the world of weed, everything is worth trying at least once.

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