What is Delta-8? | Delta-8 THC Explained

Delta 8 THC product

Delta-8, often referred to as “delta-8 THC,” is a relatively lesser-known cannabinoid present in both cannabis and hemp plants. It shares similarities with its more prominent counterpart, delta-9 THC also known as “THC”, but possesses distinct characteristics.

In contrast to delta-9 THC, delta-8 exerts a subtler psychoactive influence. Its effects are milder, offering a gentle sense of euphoria and relaxation. Nevertheless, it remains within the realm of psychoactive compounds.

However, what has recently brought attention to delta-8 is its legal status within the United States.

In this comprehensive article, we provide a thorough understanding of delta-8 THC, including its effects, safety concerns, legal implications, and more.

Is delta-8 Legal?

Delta-8 is legal at the federal level and in most of the states of the U.S. and many companies are promoting it as a legal means to get euphoric.

However, the exact legality of delta-8 is complex, as it is not specifically mentioned in federal law. Nevertheless, the 2018 farm bill legalized hemp, including all derivatives, isomers, terpenes, and cannabinoids in hemp, including delta-8, so as long as the delta-9 THC content does not exceed 0.3%, it is legal in the US.

The legal nature of delta-8 has made it easily available in your local gas station, stores, dispensaries, and online, but many states have decided to restrict the sale and production of this THC.

The states that have restricted or banned the sale and production of delta-8 are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, New York, Nevada, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Utah, and Vermont due to limited regulation. 

What is the difference between delta-8 and delta-9 THC?

Image describing comparisons between Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC

Delta-8 and delta-9 both are THCs (tetrahydrocannabinol),  while the commercial delta-8 is an artificially made compound, the commercial delta-9 is a natural cannabinoid.

Both the THCs have some psychoactive properties associated with them, delta-9, which is the major psychoactive compound abundantly found in cannabis and hemp plants is known for its ability to make you feel “high”, and if overdosed, it can also cause some discomfort.

While delta-8 is artificially made from hemp and CBD, it causes mild psychoactive effects and there are currently no reported discomforts associated with it.

The chemical structure of both delta-8 and delta-9 THC is nearly similar with minor differences, but this difference is what separates them.

Delta-8 takes a long time for effects to kick in, while delta-9 is comparatively quick to get you to feel stoned.

Is delta-8 safe?

Delta 8 is a cannabinoid that can be found naturally in hemp, but due to limited availability, it is synthesized artificially from hemp and CBD for commercial use. 

Like most THC products, delta-8 is not regulated by the government which means there is no guarantee of its safety, purity, and quality. Additionally, the FDA has provided official information regarding the concerns surrounding this compound.

Nonetheless, many reputable companies take the necessary precautions and work with third-party laboratories to ensure that their delta-8 products are generally safe for use.

The short-term use of this cannabinoid, when consumed responsibly and in moderation produces milder psychoactive effects as compared to its more potent counterpart, delta-9 THC.

Many users commonly report experiences of euphoria, relaxation, and potential therapeutic benefits, such as pain relief and reduced nausea.

However, like any psychoactive substance, it can still lead to side effects like dry mouth, red eyes, and dizziness particularly when used in excessive amounts.

The long-term safety of delta-8 THC is less clear, as limited research is available on its prolonged use.

Is delta-8 safe to smoke?

More studies are needed to say anything for certain, but you can safely smoke naturally grown delta-8 flowers from reputed delta-8 flower brands that provide a proper COA (certificate of analysis).

What are the effects of delta-8?

Delta-8 THC can produce a range of effects (1), though they are generally milder when compared to the more well-known delta-9 THC.

Some of the common effects of delta-8 THC include:

  1. Euphoria: Delta-8 can induce a mild sense of euphoria, which can result in an uplifted mood and increased happiness.

  2. Relaxation: Many users report a noticeable relaxation of both the body and mind when using delta-8.

  3. Pain Relief: Some users have found delta-8 to have potential analgesic (pain-relieving) properties, making it a choice for managing chronic discomfort.

  4. Increased Appetite: Delta-8 can stimulate the appetite, often referred to as “the munchies.”

  5. Reduced Nausea: Delta-8 THC has been explored for its anti-nausea and antiemetic properties.

  6. Less Anxiety and Paranoia: Delta-8 also causes less anxiety and paranoia issues compared to delta-9 THC, making it a more comfortable option for those sensitive to these side effects.

  7. Improved Sleep: Delta-8 can also help with insomnia and sleep disorders, promoting a more restful night’s sleep.

It’s important to note that the effects of delta-8 THC can vary from person to person, and its impact on individuals depends on several factors, including the dose, tolerance, and personal biology.

What are the difference between delta 8 and cannabis effects?

Delta-8 can make you feel euphoric and relaxed. However, if you are a regular cannabis smoker you might feel that the delta-8 is not your cup of coffee because it’s a lot milder. 

Nevertheless, many people still find delta-8 to be more enjoyable because it is a clear, milder, and more relaxed way to get stoned.

Additionally, the commercial delta-8 is made up of hemp, which has less than 0.3% of THC, while a typical cannabis strain has at least 10% of THC, so you can see the difference here.

Compared to typical cannabis, delta-8’s effects take more time to kick in and it generally lasts longer.

Can you order delta-8 products online?

Except for the above-mentioned states where delta-8 is restricted, you can order delta-8 products online anywhere in the US and get them delivered by mail.

However, make sure you check the sellers’ website if they ship to your delivery location, also thoroughly analyze the seller before buying any product, because there are many mislabeled products available in the market.

However, there are many decent companies like Binoid that are selling genuine delta-8 products online that are lab-tested by a third party for their authenticity.

Does delta-8 show up on a drug test?

The chemical structure of delta-8 is very similar to delta-9, and a drug test that checks for cannabis is designed to check for delta-9 THC in the body, so even if you consumed a hemp-derived delta-8 product, there is a good chance that it will show up on the drug test.

Unlike cannabis, delta-8 is legal, but it can make you fail the drug test because most drug tests are not advanced yet to distinguish hemp from cannabis, they generally look for THC metabolites and if they find one it will show up.

Final thoughts

Delta-8 is a relatively new compound and it definitely helped boost the hemp business but there is still a lot of research needed to be done in this area. Although It is currently legal in most states but not regulated yet.

Moreover, it’s safe to say that, anyone who hasn’t tried cannabis because it is illegal can definitely explore the world of delta-8 THC, it is just a milder version of it. 

Make sure you purchase delta-8 from an authorized or known brand and especially exercise caution while purchasing delta-8 cartridges or vape pens.


The information in this article is intended for general use only and may not always be appropriate for everyone’s needs. Your health and wellness are unique to you, so before acting on anything we say, seek personalized advice from a medical professional.

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