Whether you’ve been using THC regularly and for a long time, you use it casually here and there, or you’re looking for a natural way to relax and ease your anxiety and physical discomfort and are researching THC, there’s no doubt that you have heard of delta 8. It’s become a pretty big buzz word in the cannabis world over the past year or so, and it’s surrounded by some degree of controversy.
But what is delta 8? Is it the same as other types of THC? Is it legal to use? What’s all the controversy about? If you’re interests about delta 8 are piqued and you’re trying to decide whether or not you should give it a try, keep on reading to find the answers to the aforementioned questions and more. In this article, we’ll take a dive into one of the latest – and most provocative – THC products.
What is delta 8, anyway?
Short for delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), delta 8 is quite similar to delta 9 THC, the cannabinoid (cannabinoids are the naturally-occurring compounds that all plants contain, and cannabis has many) that creates the psychoactive effect that weed is famous for. When you hear people discussing “THC”, they’re usually talking about delta 9. Delta 8 is also commonly referred to as “dronabinol” or “D8”.
Because it’s so similar to delta 9, D8 produces many of the same effects, such as euphoria, relaxation, happiness, and pain relief; just to name a few. Since the effects are so similar, cannabis naysayers often label delta 8 “synthetic weed”, but nothing could be further from the truth. While the similarities to delta 9 THC are many, there is absolutely nothing synthetic about D8, as it is naturally produced by and derived from the cannabis plant.
The Similarities and Differences Between Delta 8 and Delta 9
Delta 8 and delta 9 are both cannabinoids that the cannabis plant naturally produces, but the name and the fact that they’re both natural cannabis compounds aren’t the only things they have in common; their chemical structures are also very similar, as the structure of both compounds feature a double-bond. The double bond – and the fact that both bind to the body’s endocannabinoid system – is why it is believed both produce the intoxicating effects that create a high-like feeling.
While the two types of THC share undeniable similarities, where they differ is in the double bond placement. While each cannabinoid features chains of carbon atoms, delta 8 features a double bond on the eight carbon, while the double bond in delta 9 is on the ninth carbon; hence the names. As mentioned both forms of THC bind to the body’s endocannabinoid system, the manner in which they do so is a bit different, and that’s due to the location of their double bonds; hence why delta 8 isn’t as potent as delta 9 THC. With that said, however, more does need to be learned about the way D8 interacts with the body.
Is Delta 8 Legal?
While delta 9 THC is considered illegal by the United States federal government, delta 8 is legal. Why? Because unlike delta 9, which is derived from marijuana, delta 8 is derived from hemp. At the time of writing, D8 THC is legal in many US states, but not in all. In some states, it is legal for medical use only; however, there are a handful of states that have restricted its use to some extent, or have outright banned it. In some states, possession of delta 8 is criminalized.
While laws do change and very well may, the following are the states where you can legally purchase, possess, and use D8 THC:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
- Washington, DC
It should be noted that in some of the above-mentioned states, only delta 8 that has been sourced from hemp plants is permitted to be sold. As such, in those states, the D8 products that are sold are much like the CBD levels of THC allowance; that is, the THC the product contains has to be lower than 0.03 percent. If you aren’t sure about the legalities surrounding delta 8 THC in your state, be sure to find out what regulations are in place.
Where is D8 THC Regulated?
In the following states, delta 8 is viewed the same as recreational marijuana:
Where is Delta 8 Illegal?
At the time of writing, the sale and possession of delta 8 THC was considered illegal:
- New York
- North Dakota
- Rhode island
What About the Remaining States?
If you’re counting or you have yet to see your state mentioned, then you’re probably wondering whether or not D8 THC is legal to possess and purchase. At the time of writing, the following states did not provide enough information to indicate if delta 8 is legal or illegal:
Can You Face Criminal Charges for Possessing Delta 8?
If you reside in or are visiting a state that has deemed D8 THC illegal, then yes, if you are caught with delta 8 in your possession, then you could end up facing criminal charges. In order to avoid potential legal problems, it is always a good idea to confirm the legality, and if it is illegal, to find out the associated charges if you have delta 8 in your possession.
Does Delta 8 Make You Feel High?
Yes, delta 8 does illicit a high-like effect; however, this effect isn’t as pronounced as delta 9 THC. If you reside in a state where recreational and/or medicinal marijuana is illegal, but delta 8 is legal, many consider this milder form of THC a great alternative. In fact, a lot of people who live in states where traditional delta 9 THC is legal actually find that they prefer the high that is associated with delta 8 instead.
Traditional THC can illicit undesirable side effects, such as anxiety, lethargy, and even paranoia. If you’ve experienced unwanted effects when using traditional THC in the past, but you would like to take advantage of the other benefits that are associated with the cannabinoid (pain relief, for example), delta 8 products may be a better option for you.
What are the Benefits of Delta 8 THC?
Because delta 8 is so similar to delta 9, both in its structure and because it binds to the endocannabinoid system, some of the benefits that it offers are similar to the positive mental and physical effects that traditional THC offers. Examples of these benefits may include:
- Pain relief
- Insomnia relief
- Reduced anxiety
- Nausea reduction
It is important to note that to date, the research that has been done to determine the manner in which delta 8 interacts with the body – and therefore, the effects that it causes – has been limited. More research does need to be conducted in order to fully understand the interactions it has and the benefits it offers.
How does Delta 8 Make You Feel?
Users of delta 8 have reported that the feelings they experience are similar to the feelings that are associated with traditional THC, but again, they are milder. Examples include:
- Increased happiness
- Pain relief
- Improved sleep
Does Delta 8 Cause Negative Effects?
Delta 8 can produce some of the same side effects that are commonly associated with traditional THC; but again, these side effects are usually much milder. They may include:
- Dry mouth
- Red, dry eyes
- Increased heart rate
- Loss of coordination
- Slowed reaction time
- Inability to concentrate
- Cognitive impairment
As mentioned, the research on the effects of delta 8 use is limited; therefore, the full list of potential side effects are not yet known.
How Long Do the Effects of Delta 8 Last?
Most delta 8 users report that the length of time the effects last are on-par with the length of time delta 9 THC effects last; typically a few hours. Keep in mind, however, that the effects won’t be as powerful. Also, it’s important to note that the effects you’ll experience and the length of time those effects will last depend on your physical chemistry, as well as the type of delta 8 you’re using. The manner in which you’re consuming delta 8 THC will also impact the effects and the length of time they will last.
How Can You Use Delta 8 THC?
Delta 8 THC can be used in a number of ways, and the methods of ingestion are the same as the way that delta 9 THC can be used. Examples of ingestion include:
- Smoking. You can smoke ground up bud in a bowl, a bong, a joint, a blunt.
- Vape. Delta 8 can also be vaped.
- Edibles. This milder form of THC can also be consumed as an edible; brownies, gummies, lollipops, chewing gum, etc.
- Tinctures. Delta 8 THC is also available as a concentrated liquid extract, known as a tincture, which can simply be swallowed, placed under the tongue, rubbed into the skin, or mixed in with food or drink.
The Similarities and Differences Between Delta 8 and CBD
A lot of people assume that delta 8 is more like CBD, another cannabinoid that is derived from the cannabis or hemp plant. While it does generate a milder “high”-like feeling, and the effects that it can create are similar to CBD, such as pain, anxiety, and insomnia relief, technically speaking, delta 8 is more closely related to delta 9 THC. As mentioned above, the chemical structure of delta 8 and traditional THC are very similar; moreover, both cannabinoids attach to the body’s endocannabinoid system. CBD, on the other hand, doesn’t bind with the endocannabinoid system as readily, and thus, it doesn’t illicit intoxicating effects.
As we pointed out earlier, if you are seeking to have an experience that is similar to THC, but less potent, delta 8 THC may be a better option for you. For example, if you’re looking to reduce physical pain that’s associated with fibromyalgia, you suffer from insomnia, you battle with anxiety, or you just want to feel more relaxed and euphoric, but you don’t want to experience the intense high-like feeling that can be associated with traditional THC, delta 8 may suit your needs.
Why is CBD Legal Everywhere but Delta 8 THC Is Not?
In some states, it is legal to purchase delta 8 THC for both medicinal and recreational use, while in others, there aren’t any laws, as the majority of delta 8 products are derived from hemp and as such, they are protected by the 2018 Farm Bill. Though some states have instituted laws that only permit the use of hemp plants for cannabis growth, there is usually some degree of gray area in regard to delta 8 THC. Why? Because it isn’t classified as a controlled substance in all states.
Where Can You Purchase Delta 8?
In most states, delta 8 products are available to purchase wherever you can purchase medicinal or recreational cannabis. If you live in a state where the sale and possession is legal, check with head shops, smoke shops, or vape shops in your local area, as these facilities often sell this type of THC. You can also purchase it from online retailers.
Before making a purchase, be sure to confirm that the seller is reputable and that the brand you are considering is trustworthy and is selling legal D8 products. Here’s a look at just some of the ways that you can make sure that the brands you are purchasing are legal:
- Confirm the registration number and COA. Whether purchasing online or at a brick-and-mortar retailer, make sure to verify that seller has a state registration number, and that the number is accompanies by a certificate of analysis (COA). A COA details the contents of the product, including the delta 8 THC.
- Ask for lab results. Make sure you ask sellers if you can see lab results for their products. These results will indicate the amount of delta 8 in the product. It will also illustrate the manner in which the cannabinoid was extracted from the hemp plant.
- Employ your common sense. Of course, you’ll also want to apply your common sense. If something seems off – the retailer won’t share their state registration number and/or COA, or they won’t provide documentation from lab results – consider those red flags and cross them off your list.
Will Delta 8 Show Up on Drug Tests?
If you’re required to take drug tests for work, sports participation, or for any other reason, if you’re thinking about using delta 8 THC, you definitely want to find out whether or not it will show up on a test.
So, does will it show up on a drug test? In short: most likely.
Since the research on delta 8 is still so new, it isn’t fully known whether or not it will appear on a drug test. With that said, however, because delta 8 is a cannabinoid and its structure is so similar to traditional delta 9 THC, it can be assumed that on drug tests where delta 9 would show up, so would delta 8. It’s important to note, however, that the manner in which the cannabinoid interacts with the body, how the interactions differ from those created by delta 9, and the amount of time that it will remain within your system is not yet known.
If you know ahead of time that you have a drug test coming up, or you suspect that there is a chance that you could be asked to take a surprise drug test, playing it safe and steering clear of delta 8 would be your best bet.
Is Delta 8 Safe to Use?
While traditional THC products are generally considered safe for most people to use (despite the fact that it is still criminalized and classified as a Schedule I drug by the US federal government), many automatically assume that delta 8 is also safe to use. While that’s a natural assumption to make, when it comes to using anything substance – whether natural or synthetic – it’s always best to err on the side of caution and confirm whether or not it is actually safe to use.
With that said, our editorial team dug in to find out whether or not delta 8 is, in fact, safe to use. While research on the substance is still in its infancy, the experts that we spoke with said that typically, delta 8 THC factors are safe; however, they also noted that there are some risks to be concerned about, and those risks largely include whether or not the products are untested and unlicensed.
Back in 2019, there was a lot of hub-bub surrounding the sale of illicit THC products; most notably, vape products. Entities with ill intentions were adding toxic substances to THC vape oils, which resulted in some serious side effects, including injuries that landed thousands in the hospital, and that even resulted in the death of about 60 people. Today, delta 8 THC vape products that are purchase in states where it isn’t legal and from retailers that are unlicensed, the same risks still exist.
With that said, when you are purchasing delta 8 THC products, make sure you do your due diligence and verify the reputation, the legality, and the validity of the license of the seller you are purchasing the products from.
Can Delta 8 THC Products Be Purchase By Mail?
Yes, you can purchase delta 8 THC products via the US mail; however, do note that it does depend on the state that you reside in. As previously discussed, delta 8 is not legal in all 50 states, and as such, some producers may decide not to send their products to certain states due to legality issues. With that said, make sure that you check the website of a seller that you’re thinking about purchasing from to ensure that they will ship the products to your state via mail. Shockingly, in states where cannabis is legal to use don’t always permit delta 8 THC.
Typically, delta 8 producers and retailers will ship their products via mail to all US states, with the exception of the following:
- Rhode Island
How is Delta 8 THC Produced?
Trace amounts of delta 8 THC are found in both cannabis and hemp plants. As per the US Farm Bill, it is legal to grow hemp anywhere in the United States, and as such, hemp is more readily available; hence, most delta 8 THC is derived from hemp.
Typically, CBD is extracted from hemp plants and is then refined into an isolate. The CBD isolate is then synthesized into delta 8 THC, which means that delta 8 does have to undergo more processing, so it is more costly to produce; however, the heightened cost of production is usually evened out by the high demand for the compound.
The Best Delta 8 Sellers
So, now that you have some firm background knowledge about delta 8 THC, you have decided that you would definitely like to purchase some. Good for you! Most people who use it report wonderful results. There’s just one problem: where should you purchase it.
To help you on your quest for finding the highest quality delta 8 products, we’ve taken the liberty of doing the research for you. Our editorial staff dedicated a great deal of time investigating the different delta 8 producers and sellers across the country, and we reached out to each one, too, to find out key information, such as the status of their licensing, the processes they use to create their products, and the type of products they offer. Based on the information we collected, we narrowed down the option, and compiled a list of our findings. Without further ado, here’s a look at our top picks for the best delta 8 THC suppliers.
Diamond CBD offers a wide selection of delta 8 THC products, including capsules, oils, edibles, vape cartridges, bundles, and pre-rolls. The company is committed to offering the most revolutionary, highest quality hemp extracts so that anyone can access them. The company is guided by a team of highly reputable and experienced doctors and scientists, which further confirms their commitment to and capability of delivering great products.
All of the products that Diamond offers are completely natural and non-GMO, and they provide lab reports to confirm this. When shopping, you can select products based on strength and mood, which makes it a lot easier to find the products that you are looking for. Not only do they offer a large selection of premium-quality, all-natural, non-GMO delta 8 THC products, but Diamond CBD also offers up to 70 percent off on new products when you register with them. With a purchase of $100 or more, you’ll receive free 2-day shipping, and all US retail orders are backed by a free 30 day return policy.
BudPop is another outstanding delta 8 producer and seller. Their famous for offering vegan-friendly, non-GMO delta 8 products, including gummies, flower, and cartridges. Plus, all of their products are tested by third-party labs to ensure that they’re pure, and that they’re free of heavy metals, pesticides, and herbicides, which ensure that they are of the purest quality. While BudPop doesn’t offer the largest select of delta 8 products, what they do offer is exceptional, and the potency is quite impressive.
We were super impressed with the flavor options for the gummies they offer, which seem really tasty. Their Northern Lights Infused flower and their Grape Vape also appears to be very popular. According to BudPop, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution, which we really admire. To that end, in order to ensure that they are helping their customers find the best products to meet their needs, they offer a quick quiz that you can take. Just input your age, gender, weight, and the remedies that you seek, and the company will offer product suggestions that are custom-tailored to meet your unique needs.
Shipping is 100 percent free on all orders, which is a major plus; furthermore, all orders are backed by a 30 day money bac guarantee, which really says a lot about the quality of the products we offer. If you’re looking for premium-quality, vegan-friendly, customized delta 8 THC products that are made in the USA and that ship completely for free, then BudPop is definitely a great choice to consider.
Exhale Wellness has been around for quite some time; in fact, they have decades of experience in the organic food market under their belts. Their philosophy is that nature provides the wellness we seek, and we couldn’t agree more. To that end, they offer a large selection of superior quality delta 8 THC products, including edibles and smokables. Their pre-rolls and flowers are oh-so-impressive, as they’re available in an assortment of strains so that you can achieve the high that you desire.
The Exhale Wellness gummies are absolutely fantastic, too; not only are they great quality, but they’re available in some taste bud tantalizing flavors. All products that they sell undergo third-party lab tests to ensure purity, and you can even check out the results of these tests for yourself.
With their delta 8 THC bundles, you can purchase a few different products in a single package, and for a discounted price. We really impressed us the most was that Exhale Wellness employs guides that will assist you with select the right delta 8 THC for you. They also say that they will be offering dosage charge in the near future, which will allow you to further maximize your product selection. You’ll get 20 percent off of your first order, all orders ship for free, and all purchases are backed by a 30 day money back guarantee.
Next up on our list of the best delta 8 suppliers is Delta Extrax. What really sets them apart from the crows is that they offer some of the most affordable prices. They offer all-natural and super-potent delta 8 THC products, of which there are many. Extrax’s lineup of products includes carts, bundles, concentrates, edibles, disposables, infused hemp flower, tincures, and pods. Their products are available in a variety of strains, which includes hybrid Indica dominant, which will really help you release stress and feel super-relaxed at the end of the day. Their potent tinctures are a great way to get your creative juices flowing or to even boost your appetite.
All produces that Delta Extrax offers are tested by third-party labs, and you can access all of the reports from these tests to confirm their validity. All orders are shipped quickly, and you can keep tabs on your order until it arrives at your door.
When it comes to delta 8 brands, 3Chi can be likened to the celebrity of producers. They claim to bring out the happies and healthiest in you through their all-natural products. They offer a variety of premium-quality delta 8 THC products, including disposables, vapes, edibles, focused blends, oils, tinctures, and concentrates.
For a really great experience, their focused blend is the way to go. Simply select the effect that you desire, such as happy, sleepy, calm, or focused, and then the company will give you a list of recommendations of products that will help to create the effects that you desire.
All orders over $99 are shipped for free, cold-shipping is available, and 3Chi has a long list of excellent reviews.
Summing It Up
So, there you have it; all you need to know about delta 8 THC. It’s easy to see why it’s taken the cannabis world by storm. If you’re looking to experience a mellower high that can provide a number of benefits, then delta 8 is definitely something that you’re going to want to give a try.