What is Delta-8 and How Did It Become Legal?
The cannabis community is swiftly becoming aware of Delta-8 THC. It appeared out of no where, overnight like some strange internet trend and is growing in popularity rapidly. But unlike those trends, delta-8 is here to stay. This new THC sits poised to claim a massive chunk of the cannabis market in the US. So where exactly did this new delta-8 come from, and how did it become legal?
To understand the journey of this lesser-known THC, you must first briefly understand where it stands in the cannabis family. Delta-8 is closely related to delta-9 THC, which is the active compound in cannabis that gives the famous high. When you smoke, it is the delta-9 you feel. The two look very similar and basically have the same name — but make no mistake. They interact with the body in very different ways. Each is separate and distinct, and offers a range of effects.
A change in the law, a change in the times
The landmark moment in Delta 8 history happened three years ago, with the passing of the Hemp Farming Act of 2018. This bill removed hemp and low-THC cannabis from regulation under the Controlled Substances Act. This flung open the door for researchers to explore new THC strains. Delta-9 and cannabis stayed tightly regulated, and it remained up to each state to legalize or maintain the prohibition. But the less potent THC compounds — effectively everything that wasn’t Delta-9 THC then became legal and available for development. That included our friend Delta-8.
It took some very smart chemists a little over a year, but by late 2019 a legal Delta 8 THC was being created and sold, using a simple process to extract the compound from cannabis plants. It is a completely natural version of THC and has existed alongside the other cannabinoids for as long as it has been around. The sole reason Delta-8 isn’t more widely known is that it exists in extremely small quantities naturally. For a long time there was no reason to extract it — it was illegal anyway. But once it and the other less-potent THC strains became legal, it was suddenly a viable option. It is not an exaggeration to say that Delta-8 THC being legalized was the biggest win for the cannabis industry in decades.
Is Delta 8 THC for Everyone?
The major appeal of Delta 8 is that it functions as an extremely effective legal substitute for cannabis. Users reportedly enjoy many of the same relaxing effects sensations, with a less intoxicating high. The high is also reported to be much clearer and more relaxing, with none of the stronger psychoactive effects that typically accompany THC, such as anxiety or paranoia. This is because Delta-8 is less potent, and instead provides a more energetic set of sensations.
This makes it ideal for active recreational users and medical users seeking relief — really anyone who would ordinarily be turned off by the strong psychoactive effects. Nothing but the calming sensation and fuzzy feelings.
If you want to learn more about how Delta 8 works on the molecular level, here is a link to a blog that dives deeper into the science of the process. If you would like to check out the latest Delta 8 products, click here.
Delta 8 Guides