AKA “diet weed,”
THE DELTA-8 THC BASICS
What Is Delta-8 THC? How does it differ from delta-9 THC?
Delta-8 Tetracannabinol is a tricyclic meroterpene which differs from it’s fraternal twin Delta-9 in the placement of one double carbon bond. Reports show it to lightly mimic THC’s effects, leading people to label it “marijuana lite,” “baby weed” and diet weed. Currently all the rage amongst CBD manufacturers, delta-8 has kept many of them alive, while it’s infuriated many within the greater cannabis industry. In state-legal businesses, many cannabis businesses have to run a gauntlet of testing in order to get products on the market. Since hemp is legal, delta 8 products undergo NO testing whatsoever at the moment, so caveat emptor.
Speaking of which, Is Delta-8 Legal?
It depends. While Delta-8 is definitely on the list of DEA Controlled Substances (scroll down this list, and you’ll see it listed next to “tetrahydrocannabinols”), the 2018 Farm Bill said however that all compounds from hemp are federally legal. And since pretty much all commercial delta 8 is synthesized from hemp-CBD in a lab, the idea is that it’s still hemp-derived. An interim rule by the DEA issued last August did mention that synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinol was still illegal, but did not explicitly call out delta-8. And so far, there’s been no raids. So for now, the law is still developing on the local and state level, with bans either already in place or recently implemented in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Kentucky, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, Rhode Island, and Utah. On the other hand, Florida does allow for delta-8 products, as long as they don’t go over 0.3 delta-9 THC. If you’re in any other state
Just so you know, we’re not in the delta-8 game. ALL delta-8 products are lab-synthesized from CBD isolate, which cuts against our brand identity of the Plant, the Whole Plant and Nothing But The Plant. However, we DO believe that delta-8 is a part of the wondrous entourage effect that heals us all. So here’s our factsheet on delta-8.
Will it Get Me High?
Short answer: Yes, but not very. It’s a far weaker partial agonist of the CB1 receptors in your central nervous system — the ones that get you high. General consensus is that you’ll feel anywhere from a third to a half of what you’d feel from delta-9 THC.
Does Delta-8 Have THC in it?
Well, yeah. It is an isomer — meaning a molecular rearrangement — of THC. If your question is more, “Do delta-8 products have delta-9 THC in them as well,” it’s highly likely that you will be inhaling, eating or consuming some delta-9 THC along with delta-8. Even in copacetic states like Florida, that can be a problem if there’s more than .3% delta-9 in the product. In addition, you might also be inhaling or consuming some, um, other stuff as well with your delta-8. As Oregon state compliance specialist Steven Crowley told Politico, “It isn’t just a clean one-to-one conversion… Fifteen to 30 percent is unknown byproducts.”
Should I Take It?
We’ve seen this film before, what with the EVALI outbreak and the well-publicized problems with mislabeled CBD. There are no standards nor are there any mandates for testing or quality control — that’s just how new this stuff is.
Will Delta-8 Show Up on a Drug Test?
Since, as was mentioned above, one of the inevitable by-products of CBD-Delta-8 synthesis is Delta-9, it’s likely it will turn up in a drug test as well.
Therapeutic Benefits of Delta 8
As you can imagine, delta-8 bears and shares certain capacities to delta-9, and has also been studied for them as well, too.
Pain: A 2018 study examining corneal injury in mice found Delta-8 as well as CBD reduced pain and biomarkers for inflammation. However, similar to delta-9 another animal model study showed that tolerance can build up quickly.
Anti-depressant: Although overshadowed by delta-9, both delta-8 and delta-9 showed “U-shaped” dose responses in two tests which measured for antidepressant effects, although delta-9 fared somewhat better.
Antiemetic: Back in 1995, cannabis medicine pioneer Raphael Mechoulam administered delta-8 to eight very young cancer patients on a regimen of antineoplastic drugs, and reported a total cessation of nausea and vomiting — with no aftereffects.
Anti-anxiety: Media reports and anecdotes have reported on subjective assessments of a calmer experience, without the intensity of regular weed. Again, because of all the artifacts present in much of the unregulated product, how much of this can be accounted strictly to delta-8 is difficult to say.
Appetite: While the National Academy of Medicine lists delta-8 as an appetite stimulant, there have been studies with a synthetic analog of delta-8 called O-2050, looking at its role as a possible appetite suppressant. It’s not how we roll at Medicine Box, but we just wanted to let you know.
How We See It
Since there are no delta-8 dominant plants that we know of at this point, examining entourage/strain effects are not really possible. We look forward to seeing what hemp cultivators can do to bring us plants that create this molecule, because nature is ultimately a better chemist than all of us. And bear in mind that delta-8 already contributes to the healing effects of any whole-spectrum extract, depending on the plant. It’s not new to hemp and/or cannabis, just the market.