What is Delta 8 THC?

As we explore the hemp plant more closely than ever before, thanks to the many strides in legalization over the past several years, we uncover exciting compounds that are capable of addressing our goals in different ways.  One of the most talked-about cannabinoids of the moment is delta 8 THC, a compound that is widely misunderstood because it’s so new to the market, and because it shares such a close relationship to delta 9 THC.

Now you know why we aim to clear things up by giving a comprehensive explanation on what delta 8 is, how it works in the body and why it’s different from other cannabinoids that we’re used to, like CBD.  As you will see, delta 8 behaves quite differently from cannabidiol in the body, and many people are finding that it is the perfect addition to their hemp routines.

Delta 8 is of course, a Cannabinoid

First, we need to explain what delta 8 is from a biological perspective.  Delta 8, also called delta-8, d8, and delta8, is short for delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol, and it’s a compound that is found in about 0.1% of the hemp plant’s flowering buds, where we also find CBD, terpenes, and other desirable compounds.

Delta 8 is a type of compound called a cannabinoid, and what makes cannabinoids unique from other plant compounds is that they are unique to the cannabis genus, to which both hemp and marijuana belong, and they are the only compounds that directly support the endocannabinoid system in the body.  The endocannabinoid system is a fascinatingly complex bodily system that has the role of regulating bodily processes ranging from mood to pain and everything in-between, by sending cannabinoids as needed to different cannabinoid receptors throughout the body, with each one playing a role in the balancing functionality of a specific bodily system.

Other cannabinoids in hemp besides just CBD include Cannabinol (CBN) and Cannabigerol (CBG), and each one binds to these cannabinoid receptors in a different way to regulate specific functions of the body.  Delta 8, therefore, is useful in that each cannabinoid may promote homeostasis in its own individual way.

What is Delta 8 THC, Specifically?

So, does delta 8 THC get you high?

Delta 8 THC is a cannabinoid that is unique from others commonly extracted from the hemp plant, mainly because it is the only one that gives you psychoactive effects legally.  Delta-8 is the result of oxidized delta-9, and delta9 is the compound most prominent in marijuana, responsible for the high that it produces.  Delta 8 produces psychoactive properties that are milder than those of delta 9, but you will feel intoxicated when you use it regardless.  Many say it’s calming, uplifting and relaxing all at once.  There are other delta 8 THC effects which primarily relate to mood and nausea.

Delta 8 THC is legal because the law only forbids the use of delta 9, at least on a federal level.  Delta-8 does not contain delta 9 THC, and so it is considered a legal substance as of the Farm Bill of 2018 which legalized hemp and all of its derivatives.  Still, delta8 is illegal in some states, so make sure to check your local laws before attempting to buy it.

Extracting Delta 8

Because delta 8 is a minor cannabinoid in hemp, meaning there is such a small amount of it that naturally occurs, extracting it is tedious and requires special care and technical abilities.  It is important to point out that using the raw flower of hemp, or a full spectrum hemp product, you will get such a low amount of delta 8 that you will not feel any of its psychoactive properties.

Making delta 8 extract is done in a few ways.  The most popular method at the moment involves producing a distillate using an advanced distillation process that isolates the compound without damaging it in the process.

The Various Ways to Take Delta 8 THC

Like CBD, delta 8 comes in different forms and delivery methods that allow you to choose how you want to experience the effects of this cannabinoid.  Here are the most popular options on the market.

  • Vapes: Delta 8 vaping products involve an e-liquid that is infused with delta 8 extract, which is inhaled into the lungs in the form of vapor.  A few different types of vaping products exist that come in various strains and milligram strengths.
  • Bottled vape oils are for pouring the liquid manually into a tank or cartridge.
  • Pre-filled vape cartridges, also known as “carts,” contain e-liquid already, and are disposable.
  • Disposable vaping devices are fully disposable systems that contain e-juice and a pre-charged battery.
  • Tinctures: Made with delta 8 are sold in dropper bottles for easy dosing and easy administration beneath the tongue, as the compound absorbs through the sublingual tissue.  Tinctures tend to offer long-lasting yet more subtle effects than vapes.  Vapes can wear off in an hour, while tinctures can last for a couple of hours. Not only can tinctures be taken sublingually, but they can also be applied to the skin or even used in food recipes.
  • Edibles: Delta-8 gummies and other edibles are ingested, offering the longest-lasting effects in the body, while producing a stronger “body high.”
  • Capsules: Ingested like delta8 edibles, except they’re encapsulated and have less ingredients.
  • Flower: These are raw hemp buds infused with pure delta 8 extract.  Usually, the flower is smoked or vaporized, but can also be used for baking when infused into different recipes.
  • Concentrates: These are concentrated products made from the trichomes of the hemp plant blended with pure delta 8 extract.  They are smoked or vaped in specialized devices.
  • Topicals: Delta-8 topical solutions are more for pain relief since they don’t reach the blood brain barrier to deliver topical effects.

What Happens When You Take Delta 8 THC?

The delta 8 THC feeling most experience is that of calmness, with some mild euphoria while remaining clear-headed.  It is important to note that you should build up a tolerance to delta-8 by starting out with a low dose and increasing it as tolerated.

Buying Delta 8 THC

As long as delta-8 is permitted in your state, you can buy delta 8 THC easily online.  Online outlets are better than in-person stores as they have larger selections at better prices due to the low overhead.  If you do not wish to go this route, simply google “Delta 8 THC near me” to find where it is sold in your area.  Also, make sure the delta 8 you buy comes from a reputable brand for maximum quality.

Delta 8 THC is Bringing a New Take on Cannabinoid Use

Delta8 THC is only going to get more popular as time goes on, as it allows us to experience generally enjoyable effects while being legal, not to mention natural.  If you wish to explore this compound, remember that it is psychoactive, so go slowly in the beginning.  And, although a cannabinoid, once again, it’s quite different from CBD, and many people love the feeling that it creates in the mind and body.

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