Delta-8 is the latest cannabis-based offering that everyone is wondering about. In fact, researchers studied the global rate of delta-8-THC searches and found that from 2020 to 2021, searches increased by 705%. An astronomical number to represent a fast-growing interest.
But before we get ahead of ourselves, we should probably talk about what Delta-8 actually does, its legality, and how it’s different from its similarly named counterpart, Delta-9 THC.
What is Delta-8 THC
According to the FDA, Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a psychoactive substance found in the Cannabis sativa plant (marijuana and hemp both derive from this as well). Delta-8 THC is only one type of cannabinoid naturally found in the cannabis plant, but there are more than 100 types of cannabinoids that are produced.
While CBD does not give you a “high,” Delta-8 gives a milder high than its stronger counterpart, Delta-9. In fact, WebMD even refers to Delta-8 as “marijuana-lite” or “diet weed.” Delta-9 produces the higher concentrations of THC usually found in marijuana. This means that while it does contain some THC, it is much lower than the amount found in other cannabinoids.
How is Delta-8 THC made ?
Delta-8 THC is naturally produced in the cannabis plant, but only in small amounts compared to the other cannabinoids that are produced. This makes the extraction quite tedious and potentially expensive compared to the process of extracting Delta-9 or even CBD.
Is Delta-8 THC Synthetic
No. Delta-8 THC is naturally found in the cannabis plant. Compared to Delta-9, Delta-8 occurs only at miniscule levels in natural cannabis. While it is possible to convert CBD to delta-8 with the use of solvents, this is a pricier option for companies to choose. However, the result of this process allows for more products to be created. Time will tell if more companies decide to produce more cannabis plants or if they will go through more of a conversion process. Of course, much of this will depend on the demand.
Will Delta-8 get you high?
Because Delta-8 contains THC it may give you a euphoric feeling. Delta-9 THC is considered the more potent variation of the two cannabinoids. If you are concerned with how you may feel, always consult your doctor first and then decide if something like Delta-8 may be useful.
From there you can start at a low dose and see how you are affected before continued use. Remember, less is always more. For example, if you’re taking a Delta-8 gummy start with half a gummy or less and monitor your sensations. And when in doubt, check out our Otterspace guide to finding your minimum effective dose:
Rookie - Half a Cube or Less
Meant for those without much experience.
Pilot - One Cube or Less
For the weekend explorer who is cautious but knows what to expect.
Commander - One Cube or More
This is for the experienced user who knows the ropes.
What's the Difference Between Delta-8 and Delta-9?
While Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC are both from the Cannabis sativa plant, they do differ in construct and effect. Delta-8 is considered a minor cannabinoid because there is little of it produced in the plant. However, Delta-9 is produced in larger amounts that also produce psychoactive effects, or a “high.” Both interact with the body’s CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors, which are responsible for many components of the nervous system.
A Forbes Health article detailed this interaction with Dr. Dave Gordon, an integrative and functional medical physician. Dr. Gordon mentions how activating CB1 receptors can potentially:
- Reduce pain
- Help with sleep
- Increase relaxation
- Calm and overactive nervous system
- Improve appetite
- Protect and heal nerves
- Prevent sensory overstimulation
He goes on to detail how activating CB2 receptors can potentially:
- Calm an overactive immune system
- Reduce inflammation
What we know about cannabinoid receptors may still be developed in the future. As we better understand the interaction between cannabis-based products and our body’s receptors, we will be able to tailor potential treatment options for a variety of conditions.
Does Delta-9 Get You Higher Than Delta-8?
Yes. Delta-9 is considered more potent than Delta-8. Discover Magazine even mentions that some believe that Delta-9 may be about twice as strong. They also mention that Delta-8’s side effects are calmer compared to Delta-9. And the length of time it takes to feel the effects also differs. Delta-8 takes some time to work and has a more gradual feel to relax users. However, Delta-9 is considered to be a more instant feeling.
If you’re unsure about which one is best for you, it’s best to do your own research on specific products and discuss those options with your doctor.
Benefits and Uses of Delta-8 vs Delta-9
Delta-8 generally presents a less potent euphoric feeling when compared to Delta-9. According to a collaborative research study conducted by the University of Buffalo and the University of Michigan, 51% of patients reported using Delta-8 THC to treat a range of health conditions. These varied from anxiety to stress, depression, and even chronic pain. Participants consisted of 521 people from 38 states, and reported experiencing pain relief, euphoria and even relaxation all while able to perform their normal daily activities.
At Otterspace we offer two Delta-8 options to try:
- Watermelon Delta-8 Gummies - Contain 25 mg of Delta-8 THC per gummy (30 per container). These gummy cubes deliver a serene and blissfully long-lasting journey for users. They are also vegan, contain no GMOs, and are gluten-free for those with allergies.
- Daytime Delta-8 + CBG Gummies - Contain 25 mg of Delta-8 THC + 25 mg of CBG per gummy (30 per container). This version of our gummy is designed to have an uplifting daytime experience and contain full-spectrum hemp extract and natural tangerine flavors. Similar to our watermelon variety, they are vegan, contain no GMOs, and are gluten-free.
However, if you’re still on the fence about trying Delta-8 before CBD, we completely understand. That’s why you may want to check out our CBD Full-Spectrum Gummies, which contain 25 mg of CBD without the Delta-8 cannabinoid being present. This is meant to be an all-purpose CBD experience and may be better for those new to cannabis-based products.
We also offer Nighttime CBD + CBN Gummies that contain 25 mg of CBD and 15 mg of CBN per gummy to help your blissfully drift off to sleep. We recommend taking ½ to 1 gummy as needed generally 1 hour before bedtime.
And if you’re not into gummies, but looking for a similar CBD solution, we also offer a CBD Full-Spectrum Tincture. At 1,000 mg of CBD, this 1 oz (30 mL) bottle can be tailored based on your preference and desired effect. We recommend starting with 1 mL and then you can adjust the dosage accordingly.
What Are the Effects of Delta 8 THC?
According to Healthline, Delta-8 is reported to potentially produce feelings of euphoria, relaxation, and potentially pain relief. This is similar to Delta-9 effects, but generally Delta-8’s effects are much milder. A 2022 study further solidified these reports after surveying Delta-8 THC consumers. The findings revealed that:
- 71% experienced relaxation
- 68% experienced euphoria
- 55% experienced pain relief
While more research is needed to better understand the individual effects of Delta-8 THC, this recent study suggests a potentially positive record of Delta-8 use.
Legality of Delta 8 THC Products
The legality of THC and even CBD products has been contested for years now. While there have been rulings on the legality, it’s still best to understand how federal and state rulings can differ. This impacts how a company can distribute and how products are labeled depending on the level of THC.
Are Delta 8 THC Products Legal ?
Delta-8 THC is considered legal at the federal level because it derives from the hemp plant and not marijuana. Some states have restricted or banned it, so it is best to check your state guidelines to best understand how it is classified.
However, as of May 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit panel found that delta-8 products are legal and not considered as marijuana under the 2018 Farm Bill. Again, it’s always in best practice to check your state’s guidelines on delta 8 THC products before purchasing.
Delta-8 THC may be fairly new compared to other CBD-based products, but that doesn't deny the fact that it is a growing choice for many consumers.
In going back to the 2022 collaborative study between University of Buffalo and University of Michigan, researchers also found that 78% of participants did not tell their primary care provider that they were using Delta-8. They cited the reason being they lacked confidence in the inability to integrate medical cannabis into treatment.
This suggests that potential users should open up a dialogue with their doctors before use. While Delta-8 may be a newer option, it should still be discussed openly to ensure the best treatment for a variety of health conditions. You should feel confident throughout your treatment journey and share any new options with your doctor to discuss.