Over 90% of Americans think marijuana should be legalized either medically or recreationally, or for both. For the cannabis consumer and manufacturer, that's great news.
And because marijuana is becoming more socially acceptable, new products have begun appearing on the market.
As a cannabis fan, you've likely kept up with some of the advances in marijuana technology and the fads that prop up the industry.
You're likely here because you've heard of Delta 8 and are curious about what it is and how it is consumed. As Delta 8 takes the world by storm, it's natural you'll wonder if it's right for you.
This article will discuss what Delta 8 is exactly, what effect it has on users, and some of the benefits people see from it.
Read on to learn all about this popular strain.
What Is Delta 8?
Delta 8 is a cannabinoid that one can extract from a cannabis plant. There are 113 cannabinoids in cannabis plants, with Delta 8 being but one of them.
If you're a fan of cannabis, you probably already know about CBD (cannabidiol), CBN (cannabinol), CBC (cannabichromene), as well as THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. THC is generally known as the cannabinoid that gets you high or what you associate with smoking marijuana. Other cannabinoids have effects on the human body, but many do not have psychoactive properties like THC.
Delta 8 actually contains THC, much much less than Delta 9, which is interchangeable with THC, or at least it has been in cannabis jargon.
Now that we have Delta 8 on the scene, we may have to differentiate between Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC so you can make informed decisions about your cannabis use.
Is Delta 8 New? Why Haven't I Heard About It Before?
If you're a casual marijuana user, you may not have heard of Delta 8 THC previously. As such, you may assume it's a recently discovered property of cannabis; after all, with cannabis newly legalized in the US, there are many new benefits that are likely still undiscovered.
Delta 8 was discovered in 1965 by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, dubbed the "Father of Cannabis." In fact, even in the 1970s, scientists were using it in experiments to study its effects on tumor growth. It was found to inhibit tumor growth in certain cancers in a 1975 study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
So, why has it been kept under wraps?
Well, Delta 8, which mostly comes from hemp plants rather than marijuana plants. Delta 9 THC is found in marijuana plants. The reason it's not been widely available is that it is only found in tiny doses. As such, those who make cannabis products have deemed the effort it takes to extract the amount of Delta 8 that could affect someone to be too much of an effort for little reward.
It was discovered that this naturally occurring cannabinoid could be recreated synthetically. This makes it easier to create it in the quantities necessary for someone to feel an effect without having to extract enough quantities from the cannabis plant to make it worthwhile.
How Is Delta 8 Synthetically Created?
Delta 8 can be created in a lab using CBD and solvents. To create a Delta 8 tincture, one must mix the CBD with a non-polar organic solvent. During the process, acid is added into the mixture, heated up to 100 degrees Celsius.
The mixture is stirred for 18 hours straight before removing the upper phase and washing and neutralizing the solution with aqueous 5% NaHCO3 (sodium bicarbonate).
While technically it is possible to create Delta 8 at home if you have the proper equipment, it is inadvisable unless you have the proper equipment to test for residual chemicals. Commercial Delta 8 products have already been through a testing phase to separate the cannabinoids and figure out which parts of the mixture are either not pure or did not become Delta 8.
The residual chemicals that may either be created or stay in the mixture can be hazardous to consume. As such, you should never create Delta 8 on your own unless you have adequate training to test for these chemicals and successfully root them out before making your Delta 8 product to ingest.
Making Different "Strains" or Tinctures of Delta 8
The different "strains" or tinctures of Delta 8 occur from the different solvents used to create it. Each of these solvents will give you a different feeling when taking it, just like different THC strains. It will still be Delta 8 and give you the same general feeling, but after some experimentation, you may find you prefer certain types of Delta 8 "strains" over others.
Different brands may also sell different levels of potency in their tinctures. You could buy Delta 8 gummies from two different vendors, and one might be much more potent than the other. It is important that you read the bottle or the packaging to see how much Delta 8 is in each item.
While you may have to experiment with Delta 8 to figure out what works for you, you definitely want to err on the side of caution first. Don't overdo it your first time.
How Is Delta 8 Different from Delta 9 THC If They Both Contain THC?
Knowing that both Delta 8 and Delta 9 contain THC can make it confusing to tell the difference for the casual observer. THC has always been known as the cannabinoid that creates a high, and with Delta 8 on the scene, it now has a rival or a complementary twin.
Delta 8 offers a more subtle high than Delta 9 THC, and most people don't find the effects to be as overt. While many people feel the effects of Delta 9 THC immediately, the high from Delta 8 comes on a bit more gradually.
Users have reported that Delta 8 makes them feel a bit calmer and focused. Indeed, a small study in Israel found that it can help people with symptoms of ADHD. With Delta 8, most people feel they can still form coherent thoughts and do their daily tasks, while some people feel that they may have to dedicate a chunk of time when they don't have anything to do to take Delta 9 THC.
In general, those who take Delta 8 report feeling more mellow, rested and happier than before taking the substance. Some people also report feeling more in tune with their bodies and seeing or feeling color.
At the moment, the research of how Delta 8 affects the body is still ongoing, so there aren't many definitive answers to objectively discuss how Delta 8 affects one's body. At the moment, most of the effects we know people feel are self-reported by users. It doesn't mean that Delta 8 doesn't make them feel that way; it just means there isn't scientific evidence to support it yet.
It is important to remember that substances tend to affect people differently. Just as you experience a high differently from a friend when taking Delta 9 THC or even when taking prescription medication, your highs won't be the same.
How Does the High Work?
All animals, including humans, have an endocannabinoid system, or ECS for short. The ECS helps the body, including the immune and nervous systems, regulate the processes within them.
The endocannabinoid system has CB1 and CB2 receptors, the main types within the body. CB1 receptors help the brain and nervous system, while CB2 receptors help out the rest of the body, including the immune system.
The cannabinoids in Delta 8 bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors. As they break down the cannabinoids, the high is produced, thus creating the feeling Delta 8 and Delta 9 are famous for.
Side Effects of Delta 8
Just as with anything you put in your body, there are pleasant side effects, such as those mentioned above, and unpleasant side effects. Delta 8 is no exception, and some people have reported a few unpleasant aspects of the cannabinoid.
Those who have taken Delta 8 have reported feeling groggy, fatigued, and have dry eyes and a dry mouth. In some cases, they have also reported having diarrhea.
If you're taking Delta 8 to help you calm down or to help with sleepiness and insomnia, then you might welcome grogginess and fatigued feeling. But if either gets in your way of functioning, you may want to lessen the potency of the tincture.
Is Delta 8 Legal When Delta 9 THC Is Illegal in Some States?
Currently, Delta 9 THC is the substance that is regulated in terms of cannabis. Federally, you can only buy products that have less than 0.3% Delta 9 THC in them. State law on THC, however, is a different matter altogether.
Because Delta 8 is a different cannabinoid than Delta 9, it can still be sold on the federal level. This is partially because Delta 8 doesn't contain the regulated Delta 9 substance, partially because of the 2018 Farm Bill. The Farm Bill makes hemp production legal, which in turn makes Delta 8 legal if derived from hemp or created synthetically from hemp.
As of the summer of 2021, 15 states have prohibited the sale of Delta 8, and 6 have pending legal actions. This is due to the psychoactive nature of the substance, which many states feel should be regulated.
Delta 8, however, is fully legal in the state of Oregon, where Tweedle Farms is located. If you're a local, congratulations, you can give Delta 8 a try.
How Do You Consume Delta 8?
You can consume Delta 8 the same way you consume any cannabis product. One of the most popular products is edibles made with Delta 8, which will give you that high feeling and curb the munchies at the same time.
You can also smoke Delta 8, put it under your tongue with Delta 8-infused tinctures like you would with a CBD tincture, dab it or use it in topical products.
Some people find that Delta 8 has a bitter taste, so they prefer to mask it by cooking with it. You won't taste the bitterness of it if it's camouflaged in a tasty cookie or brownie.
Can You Take Too Much Delta 8?
It is improbable, bordering on impossible, to fatally overdose on cannabis products. That's good news for newbies, as it's often a rookie mistake to take too much, hoping for a magnificent high.
Taking a lot of Delta 8 can increase some of the negative feelings associated with the negative side effects above. You may also find that you have a "bad trip," something you may not have if you take a less potent "strain" or tincture.
However, if you take Delta 8 as part of your daily habits, it is important to note that you can become immune to the amount you take. As such, you'll need to increase your dosage to feel the same high the next time around. This process works for most drugs, as your body will build a resistance to it, and you'll need a higher dose to feel any effects.
Delta 8: The New Frontier
It is always exciting when a new cannabinoid is discovered. In the case of Delta 8, it's actually been there all along; we just needed someone to introduce us to its uses and show us all of the benefits of it.
In the next few years, Delta 8 will likely undergo more testing by the FDA, in addition to further laws regulating it. However, at the moment, you're free to try it in all but the 15 states that have outlawed it.
You may find that Delta 8 is the perfect high you've been looking for without the punch of Delta 9 THC. Or, it may be the thing that helps you relax without making you feel as though you have to lie down and take a 12-hour nap.
On September 14, 2021, the FDA and the CDC simultaneously issued a public warning about Delta-8 THC products. They highlighted their concerns about use by minors, marketing and harmful manufacturing practices that can lead to harmful byproducts.
Once again, the safety of Delta-8 is being called into question. This is another reminder that Delta-8 should be regulated as “Adult use” only cannabis due to potentially dangerous, intoxicating compounds. Non-intoxicating products that show great benefit, like CBD, should continue to be regulated as dietary supplements.