Everyone’s talking about the “new” compound to hit the natural wellness market. Delta 8 THC is a minor hemp cannabinoid making waves for the mood boost and slight intoxication it produces. Sometimes referred to as THC-lite, the hemp compound is an intoxicating alternative to CBD. However, before you jump to try the newest trend, you need to know the dangers of how brands are ‘extracting’ it from hemp.
What is Delta 8?
The latest phytocannabinoid to attract consumers’ attention is a minor delta 9, which is more prominent in cannabis than hemp. It produces a mildly intoxicating experience that’s not as strong as delta 9. Many consumers in legal states dislike the intensive high of cannabis. Some brands are offering a legal loophole for a moderate buzz that doesn’t leave them paranoid.
How is Delta 8 Different From Delta 9 THC?
Although delta 8 and 9 share the same chemical structure, the two phytocannabinoids bond at different locations. Delta 8 bonds at the 8th molecule and delta 9 bonds at the 9th location. Experts believe this slight difference is what causes the ‘THC-lite’ response. The lower bonding also produces a more enjoyable buzz for people looking for a way to get high.
What’s the difference between Delta 8 and CBD?
There’s more difference between delta 8 and CBD than there is in common. Yes, many customers that find CBD too light or not what they’re looking for choose the THC compound. The plant chemicals share the same molecular formula, but the structures of the two phytocannabinoids are different.
Of course, the differences most consumers want to know about involve the body’s response to the cannabinoids. CBD provides a relaxing feeling that calms the mind, joints, and muscles. Many users buy CBD to reduce anxiousness and sleep better at night.
CBD won’t provide a stimulating experience like consumers claim about delta 8. For years, hemp advocates have promised consumers that the plant’s extracts are non-intoxicating. These aren’t empty promises. CBD is non-psychoactive. The plant doesn’t naturally produce significant amounts of delta 8 THC to get someone “high.” The same goes for delta 9 THC. Brands selling THC-lite are converting CBD to THC to create slightly intoxicating compounds.
Is THC-Lite Legal?
Yes and no. Delta 8 falls into a gray area that many state governments refer to as a loophole in the 2018 Farm Bill.
Many brands use the wording that allows all hemp compounds, including delta 9 THC. These companies point out the only exception to the law is the THC level must be at or below 0.3%.
According to the law,
“The term `hemp’ means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”
However, this only applies to naturally occurring compounds. The process to convert CBD to THC-lite is synthetic. This manufacturing technique is what puts delta 8 in a gray area. It’s not legal. Unfortunately, states have to enact their own regulations and rules regarding delta 8 rather than rely on federal changes.
Congress must amend the Farm Bill to correct the issue and provide a more solid ban on synthesizing CBD into intoxicating compounds.
Luckily, several states have taken steps to ban or limit the sales of delta 8.
Delta 8 Isn’t An Extract
There are two options for getting THC-lite to use as a raw material. One is to extract it the traditional way, using CO2 or a solvent to remove it. But, the small amount of the minor compound in hemp makes this an expensive venture. Instead, most companies convert CBD to delta 8 because it’s abundant in hemp and is more cost-effective. However, this technique is relatively new, and there have been minimal studies involving the safety of the process.
An article in Discovery Magazine points out the potential problems synthesizing CBD to create delta 8. It quotes Christian Peterson, a co-founder of a company that produces THC-lite products.
“The research isn’t there yet to know for sure.”
Additionally, Dr. Peter Grinspoon, a primary care doctor at Harvard Medical School and medical cannabis expert, agrees caution is necessary with the compound.
“Whenever there’s another minor cannabinoid that people start puffing up, I always worry that the marketing claims and the desire to line people’s pockets is going to outpace the actual science.”
Why Are People Using THC-Lite?
People trying delta 8 are looking for a legal high that’s not as intense as delta 9 THC. Additionally, many users claim they want something different from alcohol to enjoy with friends that are still natural, like hemp. What these consumers don’t know is that it’s not naturally occurring. If more buyers understood the process brands were going through to develop these products, they’d be more cautious. More research is needed about the conversion process to confirm it’s safe.
The naturally occurring minor phytocannabinoid has potential medicinal uses in the future. Experts believe a THC that offers pain relief and appetite improvement may benefit children because it doesn’t produce an intense psychoactive effect.
What are the Side Effects of Delta 8 THC?
Not much is known about the side effects of delta 8 THC. Consumer reports suggest their similar to delta 9. If you smoke pre-rolls or flowers infused with delta 8 THC oil, you’ll experience red, itchy eyes. Indulging in too much can cause paranoia and anxiety that’s overwhelming for most users. Additionally, you might feel nauseous after too much delta 8. These side effects can last less than an hour for smoking it. However, tinctures and edibles might have a duration of four to six hours. Instead of a fun experience, consumers can find it terrifying.
Skip the unknown and stick with the products that work for you. Buy American Hemp Oil tinctures, edibles, and capsules. Our 100% natural hemp extracts are safe and excellent for your daily routine.