What is Delta-8 THC?

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A delta-8 THC topic is confusing among CBD users, but Happy Garden will try to clear this up.

Many would know that THC standing for tetrahydrocannabinol, is a psychoactive compound legally allowed in full-spectrum CBD products if its concentration is under 0.3%. Likewise, some would know that delta-9 is associated with THC; that is, when we talk about THC and delta-9 THC, we talk about the same thing. And only a few are aware of what delta-8 THC actually is and how it differs from traditional delta-9 THC.

Delta-8 THC is a psychoactive element in the Cannabis sativa plant, either in marijuana or hemp. It is one of the 100 cannabinoids produced naturally by the cannabis plant, although found in a small amount in the Sativa plant. 

Some reputable sources describe delta-8 THC as a weaker variant than delta-9 THC. Although limited, the opinion based on the research recommends the former over the latter to people who avoid experiencing a deep “high” sensation.

Recent Research About Delta-8 THC

The first and the largest study on delta-8 appeared in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research and the Journal of Cannabis Research. Over 500 participants in the trial were using it in formulations that were considered safer, like vaping or edibles. They described their experience with Delta-8 as a nicer version of delta-9 THC with little or no adverse effects. 

This research doesn’t seem consistent with the FDA conclusion on delta-8. For example, from December 1, 2020, to February 28, 2022, the FDA accumulated reports on many delta-8 users who required intervention or even hospital admission. As a result, the FDA didn’t approve the use of delta-8, advising to keep it away from children and pets.

Legal Aspect of D8 THC and Puzzling Reality

When the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill was enacted, it didn’t directly cover delta-8 THC. The law that stated that hemp couldn’t contain more than 0.3 percent THC meant delta-9 THC. However, since delta-8 wasn’t mentioned, a loophole was created that allowed the sale of delta-8 in states where recreational use of cannabis was banned, including where medical marijuana required legal permission. That is why delta-8 THC became so popular.

Currently, 13 states prohibit delta-8, including Colorado, Nevada, New York, Washington, and others.

Yet, it’s baffling that as many states are welcoming delta-9, it’s becoming widespread and legalized. However, when it comes to delta-8, they are restricting it though it has shown to be half potent than delta-9 and to have a better outcome in terms of its effects.

In states where delta-8 THC is legal, it shouldn’t exceed the threshold of 0.3%.

One may ask, how can a weaker version of THC be so harmful?

Why FDA Says, Delta-8 THC is Potentially Harmful

Unlike delta-9 THC, delta-8 is found in small amounts in the cannabis plant. So under the FDA, the problem lies in how it is made – the substance is typically extracted not from a plant but from cannabidiol (CBD) or its “cousin” delta-9 THC. This may happen synthetically, or through other means not consistent with the 2018 Farm Bill.

The concern refers to some manufacturers who may use unsafe chemicals to produce delta-8 via chemical synthesis. Hence, the final delta-8 THC may have harmful contaminants or impurities. Besides, when implementing synthetic conditions on cannabis, it’s no longer plant material, which violates existing regulations.

FDA also states that the problem is that d8 lacks empirical research. However, the same can be said about delta-9 THC. So in our view, the fear is instead about the difficulty of producing delta-8 fraught with irresponsible manufacturers rather than the adverse effects. They may employ uncontrolled processing steps to get delta-8 THC.   

Key takeaways:

  • Delta-8 and delta-9 both are psychoactive compounds in the cannabis plant;
  • Delta-8 has a bit different chemical structure, which is why it is less potent;
  • Both may have potential adverse and intoxicating effects;
  • Both lack randomized and systematic research; 
  • Delta-9 is easy to extract because it occurs naturally in cannabis;
  • Delta-8 is found in very few quantities in cannabis, so it has to be produced from a concentrate;
  • Both cannabinoids are not legal on the federal level but are approved in many states.

Delta-8 High vs. Delta-9 High

In the recent study mentioned earlier, professor Daniel Kruger analyzed data from 500 participants who were asked to compare their experience with delta-8 to delta-9. They discovered that delta-8, like its sibling delta-9, could relieve pain and promote relaxation but provided moderate euphoria, contrary to the latter. According to the professor, adverse side effects were far more moderate than what people got with delta-9 THC. For example, one of the participants said she could perform her routine activities without feeling paranoia and munchies.  

Which is Safer, Delta-8 or Delta-9?

Many cannabis users think that delta-8 won’t make them anxious because it is less potent than delta-9 THC. But the truth is that it is a matter of dose, and it can also make you feel uncomfortable, causing side effects such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Problems with memory
  • Red eyes
  • Increased heart rate
  • Dry mouth
  • Slowed reaction times
  • Coordination troubles

Delta-8 THC’s Legitimacy in Therapeutics

If you visit our CBD Information page, you will find many articles explaining CBD and THC’s therapeutic benefits. These are not just words of mouth, but all backed up by science. Similar to its cousin delta-9 THC, it can:

  • Contribute to relaxation
  • Enhance sleep
  • Alleviate pain
  • Lower anxiety and stress
  • Boost appetite
  • Mitigate nausea
  • Help with depression

At Happy Garden, we believe that delta-8 has medicinal properties, but people should be using it appropriately.   

Can Delta-8 THC Appear on a Drug Test?

Since delta-8 is similar to delta-9, it can appear on a drug test. If you occasionally use CBD products with THC, it might not be a problem. However, when used regularly, THC is prone to accumulate in your body, and because of that, you may fail your drug test.

Stay Safe with CBD Products

If you are unsure about consuming THC that isn’t federally approved, you may consider trying CBD products.

Our CBD oils, gummies, flowers, and creams contain zero THC or small permitted amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol, which is insufficient to trigger psychoactive effects when administered in small doses.

The Most Popular Delta-8 THC Formulation

Delta-8 THC products have been popping up since 2020, and they are found in gummies, vape pens, and tinctures. Yet, edibles are by far the most popular. They come in different flavors, colors, and even shapes. One of the advantages of using edibles like gummies is the ease of dosage. The size of each piece is usually 25 mg, but you can also come across lower and higher dosages per gummy (e.g., 15 mg or 30 mg), depending on the manufacturer. 

How to Figure Out The Right Dosage for a Delta-8 THC Gummy?

The dosage is very individual. Some people feel effects from small doses, and others may need larger amounts. The thing is that there are several variables in play. These are your weight, endocannabinoid system, and your body chemistry.

At Happy Garden, when it comes to CBD products, we always advise starting with a lower dosage and then increasing it slowly.

For instance, you can begin using the amount at around 10 mg. Thus, a 25 mg gummy can be cut half for the first dose. Or, you can eat more than one gummy at a time if one piece is 5 mg.

It’s important to monitor your body’s reaction to set the ideal dose. You can visit our CBD gummies page to discover more about CBD edibles.    

How to Buy Delta-8 THC?

If you decide to try delta-8 for the first time, it’s crucial that you look for a quality product from reliable sources. While there are a lot of really good manufacturers making good products, some are not so trustworthy. Lack of regulation and control over the substance doesn’t help either. Therefore, it is basically the consumer’s responsibility to ensure they buy a safe product.

When choosing the best THC or CBD modulations, follow these tips:

  • Make sure an online vendor you are buying from provides proof of a third-party testing certificate;
  • See if a company is transparent about the source of their hemp;
  • Check if they have a COA certificate stating that a product contains no more than 0.3% of THC;
  • The same COA certificate should affirm that the product is free of contaminants and impurities.
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