You have probably heard about the new “legal high” that is delta-8 THC. This compound has become extremely popular because of its psychoactive properties related to delta-9 THC. But, it does not give you the side effects of delta-9, which are paranoia and anxiety.
In 2018, Congress opened up hemp farming by attaching a provision to the Farm Bill, which removed hemp and its derivatives containing extremely low delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol from Schedule I Controlled Substances. This allowed manufacturers to source another prevalent cannabinoid, CBD, from hemp.
After the explosive popularity of CBD, companies went ahead and derived delta-8 THC from CBD, bringing us to today’s topic. We are going to go over what delta-8 THC is, its safety, and the best places to get it.
What Is Delta-8 THC?
Delta-8 is a recently emerged cannabinoid. It contains neuroprotective properties that may help reduce anxiety, pain, and nausea. It also produces psychotropic effects similar to delta-9, the primary form of THC in cannabis, but delta-8 is less potent. To better understand delta-8, let us cover some basics about cannabis and THC.
The cannabis genus is full of different cannabinoids. These naturally occurring compounds bind with receptors in the body to offer a wide range of physical, emotional, and mental effects. The most prevalent cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Tetrahydrocannabinol is the psychoactive section of the cannabis plant. It gives you the high sensation associated with smoking marijuana.
CBD is another prevalent cannabinoid. While it is mildly psychoactive, it is not intoxicating. Even though CBD is legal, THC is not. This is because CBD is extracted from legal hemp that contains 0.3% THC or less. While delta-8 is found in hemp, it is only in small concentrations. This makes its extraction, isolation, and refinement relatively difficult.
Scientists are now refining methods of producing delta-8 from CBD extracts through a process known as isomerization. This is why it is legal in many states, since it is sourced from legal hemp plants used to make CBD.
Delta-8 THC Vs. Delta-9 THC – What Is the Difference?
From what we have seen so far, delta-9 is the leading property in a cannabis plant that produces the ‘high’ effect. Marijuana contains it in higher concentrations than hemp. When you use delta-9 or simply THC, it binds to the CB1 and CB2 receptors in our endocannabinoid system.
When THC binds to the CB1 receptors, it gives you high effects. But, when it binds with CB2 receptors, it induces relaxation. Because of its profound results, delta-9 caught the eye of medical researchers. This is because delta-9 produces many effects, not just euphoria. For example, it may prevent nausea, and it could also act as an appetite stimulant.
Delta-8 and delta-9 have similar structures, but they differ due to a significant chemical structure & bond location. This double bond on delta-8 is found on the eighth carbon chain and the ninth carbon chain on delta-9 THC. This significantly impacts the molecules’ shapes and how they bind to the body’s endocannabinoid system.
Delta-8 THC also binds to the CB1 receptors like delta-9 THC. But, its affinity for the CB1 receptor is different because of its slightly altered structure and shape. This differential binding is responsible for delta-8 having a milder and clearer high than delta-9 THC. Thus, delta-9 has intoxicating effects when taken orally or via inhalation. There is plenty of clinical and anecdotal evidence to support these claims.
Although many users say delta-8’s high is more comfortable than delta-9’s strong one, pharmacological evidence begs to differ. Experts point out that both delta-9 and delta-8 convert into 11-hydroxy-THC in the liver. As such, they advise taking caution when consuming any products with either delta-8 or delta-9 THC.
Nevertheless, clinical studies are discovering lots of unique properties and therapeutic benefits of delta-8 THC. So it is no wonder it is quite popular, seeing that users are gaining both medicinal and therapeutic effects from the substances, especially for those who do not like the after-effects of delta-9 THC.
Is Delta-8 THC Legal?
First, there are several companies actively promoting delta-8 THC as a legal high. Technically, this is true as per the 2018 Farm Bill. Legal regulations address Schedule I drugs like marijuana which contains delta-9 THC. This tier is specifically for drugs that have a high potential for abuse but with no medicinal benefit. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) tightly regulates them.
Meanwhile, federal laws do not explicitly address delta-8 THC. Therefore, it remains in a legal grey area, since it is derived from CBD extracted from legal hemp. To be more specific, nearly all delta-8 THC on the market comes from CBD. You can find it in CBD shops, dispensaries, head shops, gas stations, and online manufacturers’ websites. It comes in the form of vapes, tinctures, gummies, flowers, and many other delivery methods.
Usually, companies that sell delta-8 products leave a leaflet in the box. The leaflet typically explains why delta-8 is federally legal. The actual status of delta-8 is that it is legal in many states. Only a few have expressly forbidden delta-8 THC. These include Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Iowa, Idaho, Kentucky, New York, Montana, Mississippi, Vermont, Utah, and Rhode Island.
These states cite a lack of research into delta-8 psychoactive effects. Nevertheless, not all states view delta-8 as a health concern. Recently, Texas removed a state bill that could have banned delta-8 THC in Texas. But, because it did not, delta-8 is still legal in Texas.
The main concern about delta-8 THC is that it is unregulated. This means there is no guarantee of safety, purity, or integrity. However, states are no longer on the outside looking in. So, we can expect to see more states take a stand on delta-8 THC. As always, before consuming any substance that makes you high, it is essential to first go through your state’s laws.
Does Delta-8 THC Get You High?
If you are wondering if it is going to make you high, it depends on how much you take and your tolerance level of delta-9 THC, if it is what you are using currently.
Some people who use delta-9 say they now prefer delta-8 because of its clear high and lack of side effects. It gives you a more appealing buzz and is a more attractive option than its other hemp counterparts. It has an uncanny resemblance to THC in its smells and looks, especially the delta-8 flower.
It is essential to take note that the high of inhaling delta-8 is quite different from consuming delta-8. As one user noted, the delta-8 flower gave her body pulsing sensations and feelings of comfort reminiscent of a post-shower or post-workout afterglow.
When you consume delta-8 edibles like gummies or cookies, it takes two to three hours for them to kick in. Therefore, it is advisable that you not take another gummy before you gauge your tolerance. This is because edibles tend to make you feel the effects of delta-8 throughout the body, not just in your head, as it gets converted to 11-hydroxy-THC in the liver.
However, you can still get the delta-9 THC high, including its after-effects of paranoia and anxiety. Delta-8 THC is 50% as potent as delta-9 THC. So, if you consume twice as much delta-8 as you would delta-9, you can expect the same high. For new and infrequent users, you will get as high as you would with regular THC. You have to be prepared for a psychological shift that happens for most new users. People report feeling chatty, relaxed, light, and hungry.
Delta-8 will get you high. It can be a very real and intoxicating high, so it is best not to drive or operate heavy machinery.
Is Delta-8 Safe?
Most delta-8 THC research affirms the innumerable benefits of this substance. We have also gone through numerous reviews that vouch for delta-8’s effects of daily use, but there are, regardless, risks involved. Delta-8 is derived synthetically. So, the federal government does not approve of any method used in producing this substance. A large majority of delta-8 products are sold outside of state-regulated and state-licensed cannabis industries. These products are not regulated, which has given leeway for some brands to produce and sell delta-8 with potentially toxic chemicals.
However, many companies have found safe and premium techniques for delta-8 extraction. For example, the supercritical CO2 extraction method is now considered the industry’s standard of deriving delta-8 from plant material. This technique does not use heavy solvents and extra heat, so the resulting distillate does not have to purge many harmful chemicals.
But still, companies have to present lab tests as proof of the product’s purity. Yet, the industry is relatively unregulated. Therefore, we recommend you take the time to choose a delta-8 brand. Do your research, and double check the law surrounding delta-8 in your state.
Effects of Delta-8 THC
Delta-8 is psychoactive, just like delta-9. But, you can think of it as a toned down kind of psychoactive effect. The possible results of delta-8 include a euphoric high and reduced stress and anxiety. Most people describe a sense of bliss, increased sensory perception, laughing, and a deeper appreciation for life. Furthermore, the mild impact of delta-8 works as a natural anxiety-reliever by activating the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system centrally regulates anxiety and fear.
When delta-8 binds to the CB1 receptor, it may initiate psychological effects that activate the body’s stress-relieving and anti-anxiety effects.
- Promotes Healthy Sleep
Delta-8 impacts the mind and body’s natural rhythm. It can bind twice to the receptors in the endocannabinoid system, which could help calm the processes. These include hectic mental activity, unsteady breathing, and a rapid heart rate.
- Alleviates Pain and Inflammation
This substance possesses soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. It can target acute pain and chronic inflammation since it may help soothe and reduce the pain and inflammation. It may also be helpful if your hangover comes with muscle pain and headache because of its analgesic properties.
- Improved Body Balance
Research supports that delta-8 can improve the body’s balance and well-being since it interacts with the endocannabinoid system. This means it may help regulate certain hormones that affect mood. These include serotonin, dopamine, and glutamate.
- Stimulates Appetite
Delta-8 does not give people the ‘munchies’ like marijuana. However, studies show it may stimulate the appetite effectively and may even lead to better nutrient absorption.
- Inhibits Nausea and Vomiting
Delta-8 THC acts as an antagonist, as it modulates the feeling of nausea. There are already patents on this component’s use as a possible anti-nausea agent to manage vomiting after chemotherapy.
- Neuroprotective Properties
This substance could also be seen to protect the brain from long-term cognitive damage in case of injury from hypoxia.
Where to Find Good, Safe, Delta-8 THC Products
If you are looking for one of delta-8’s related products, it is best to get it from a credible source, such as the following:
- Exhale Wellness – High-Quality Brand
- BudPop – Premium Brand With Exotic Flavors
- Delta EFFEX – Runners’ Up
#1. Exhale Wellness – High-Quality Delta-8 Brand
Exhale Wellness is a brand focused on promoting a healthy, stress-free lifestyle. All of their products contain naturally-derived ingredients to help ease everyday stress.
This brand is meticulous about what goes into their products. They ensure every ingredient is organic, chemical-free, non-GMO, and vegan. They also do third-party lab testing and post the results on their website, offering complete transparency.
Every product comes in a variety of strains. For example, Exhale Wellness flowers have eight flavors. As a result, you can find every delta-8 in various flavors to suit your taste. Even better, the brand gives you control over how much delta-8 you want to consume in each flower.
Exhale Wellness is relatively new on the delta-8 market. However, it has climbed the ladder to be our number one recommendation for the best delta-8 products.
- Variety of products
- Excellent brand reputation
- Adequate product information
- #1 Delta-8 gummies
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- High potency for relaxation
- Third-party lab testing
- Hemp-derived products
- Only available online
- No international shipping
The brand is trustworthy and has garnered numerous positive reviews online. One delighted customer claimed the gummies helped with her sciatica. Exhale Wellness cares about their customers. They answer questions and provide helpful information when customers are looking for clarity before choosing a product.
#2. BudPop – Premium Brand With Exotic Flavors
In the quest for something to help them live balanced lives, the founders stumbled upon delta-8. Founded in 2021, BudPop is changing the face of the hemp industry, as it brings with it convenience and fast, secure shipping.
BudPop boasts a wide range of products. You can choose from delta-8 cartridges, THC-infused flowers, and exotic-flavored delta-8 gummies. This company does not just give you delta-8, but they also create extra adventure with terpenes. These botanical compounds give BudPop’s strains exotic flavors, smells, and effects you will not find on any other brand. From gummies to vape carts, there are eight strains to choose from.
As more products and companies enter the market, BudPop continually tests their delta-8 and assures you the quality and consistency in their products are not getting lost in the latest craze.
- Thorough third-party testing
- #2 Delta-8 Carts
- Deals and offers are available
- 14-day return policy
- Fast and secure shipping
- It cannot be shipped to all states due to individual state laws
Customers are happy about BudPop’s marketing practices. This is because they get all of the relevant information they need to make their decision. We also saw overwhelmingly positive responses on most of their products, citing they are way better than anything they had tried before.
#3. Delta EFFEX – Runners Up
Delta EFFEX is one of the longest-standing brands in the delta-8 market. This company manufactures their products by using advanced methods and techniques. As a result, Delta EFFEX has some of the most robust delta-8 products on the market.
The best thing about this brand is that you cannot get enough of their flavors and strains. Different products include edibles, disposables, infused hemp flowers, pods, and even pre-rolls.
If you love vaping delta-8, you can choose from six delta-8 carts. A favorite for ultimate relaxation is the Grand Daddy Purp for a peaceful night with popcorn and a movie. You can count on this brand because their products undergo independent testing. And, you can evaluate their Certificates of Analysis (COAs) results online.
- Offers and discounts are available
- Reasonable but competitive prices
- #3 Delta-8 flowers
- Delicious, non-chemical flavors
- Third-party lab tested
- Does not offer refunds or replacements
Delta EFFEX is well-received by their customers. Their products are excellent because they match up to their label percentages. Buyers are also happy the products offer a great deal of relaxation, especially on stressful days when one needs that extra energy.
Overall, customers appreciate that Delta EFFEX is transparent, which helps them feel safe and informed about what is going on in their bodies.
How to Take Delta-8 THC
Like any other cannabinoid, delta-8 comes in different forms. The best method depends on why you are using it, how fast you want to see the effects, and how long you want the effects to last.
Edibles are the most popular form of consuming delta-8. The two main types are gummies and soft gel capsules. Gummies are flavorful and preferred mainly by those who do not like hemp’s earthy or bitter taste. It takes two to three hours for edibles to take effect, and the impact usually lasts a few hours.
This method involves tinctures or oils in which you take a few drops of oil and dab some underneath your tongue. The product does not have to go through your digestive system since your glands absorb it directly. This method takes 15-60 minutes to kick in, with the effects lasting for a few hours.
This is the fastest-acting method of taking delta-8. The delta-8 THC oil is heated in a cartridge and turned to vapor. This vapor enters your bloodstream through the lungs, which is why it is relatively fast-acting. However, the effects of vaping only last for one to two hours.
Delta-8 Dosage: How Much Delta-8 THC Should You Take?
New to delta-8 THC? You must know that it is not a product you can overdose on. However, you still need to keep an eye on your dosage. You do not want to take too much and suffer the side effects of too little, missing the product’s efficacy. Some seasoned THC users feel delta-8 is not as potent as THC, so you may need to adjust the dosage to have similar effects.
Every company offers different strengths in the same product or different strengths in various products. In addition, the dosage differs widely depending on the method of delivery. For example, a 1ml delta-8 vape cartridge can contain 800-950mg of delta-8 while one gummy has 25-30mg of delta-8 THC.
For beginners, our recommendation is to start slow and then add your dosage according to the tolerance level, because, otherwise, your health could be at risk. Although delta-8 THC dosage is around 50-70% higher than regular THC, it will hit you hard if you take too much.
The hemp business has been spiced up with Delta-8 THC. Nonetheless, with so many brands to choose from, it is essential to educate yourself. We trust the requirements and recommendations stated above have clarified what delta-8 is. Also, you have the option of selecting a product from one of our preferred brands.
Even though you deserve the best, the market is flooded with inferior items. However, if you follow our recommendations, the finest is out there and maybe found if you use the criteria outlined in this article. We wish you the best decision since we just want you to benefit from delta-8’s medicinal advantages without experiencing any adverse effects. However, we would suggest you go for Exhale Wellness.
Go ahead and explore the world of delta-8!