Marijuana has been a part of our life for dozens of thousands of years – this is not an exaggeration. We’ve been using it for clothes, building houses, cure, food, and for fun. Weed had its ups and downs, it was worshipped and outlawed, studied at the universities, we developed a huge variety of new strains of marijuana. Could anyone possibly think that Mary Jane has something more to surprise us?
Meet Delta-8 THC, The New Cannabis Product
All regular cannabis users know that there are two main ingredients contained in the marijuana plant — CBD and THC, or cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol respectively. It’s also well-known that the latter is to make us high, while the former produces most of the curative effects of weed. The less known fact is that there are many other cannabinoids contained in marijuana, moreover, there are multiple types of THC.
The compound that produces the psychoactive effect and gives us the feeling of relaxation and euphoria is delta-9 THC. It’s abundantly present in weed, which should be distinguished from hemp. The hemp is the kind of plant that contains almost zero delta-9 THC and is widely used in medicine and fabrics and construction materials production.
Delta-8 THC is very similar to its psychoactive relative, yet they are not the same. A tiny difference in the molecule structure leads to many beneficial properties and effects of this cannabinoid, which have made it so popular lately. What is more important, the “8” one can be derived from hemp. Here we come to its most important advantage.
Until recently, marijuana has been existing under hard restrictions. The law did not make any difference between weed and hemp, assuming that any cannabis plant is a potential illegal drug source. However, with new research on the medicinal value of CBD, the state had to adopt the law according to the growing popularity of medical marijuana. In 2018, the Farm Bill was passed, which allowed cultivation of hemp, a cannabis plant that contains no more of delta-9 THC than 0.3%.
Hemp farming roared in popularity, the plant became the novel material in building construction, textile industry, paper production, medicine, plastic and biofuel manufacturing, etc. Now, it potentially can become a legal shelter for recreational cannabis users. The 2018 Farm Bill prohibits any kind of delta-9 THC, yet it allows CBD, which also produces some mild psychoactive effects without intoxication and adverse reactions.
Weed lovers use CBD as a precedent and say that if one is allowed, then all other cannabinoids that are not prohibited by the law are allowed, too. Delta-8 THC is derived from hemp, this chemical compound is different from its delta-9 brother, and does not contain any remains of the latter one. Which makes it technically legal, though unregulated. However, its growing popularity can play a cruel joke on delta-8, as the federals and many states that outlaw recreational cannabis are already designing restriction measures on all THC-like products.
Delta-8 Pros & Cons
Along with being unregulated, delta-8 is also yet to be well-studied. It will take some time for researchers and doctors to gather all necessary information about the health effects of this cannabinoid, both positive and negative ones. Due to its novelty, delta-8 THC has many proponents and at the same time causes lots of concerns about its propagation.
Why try delta-8:
in comparison with its delta-9 relative, it causes milder, lighter psychoactive effects. It still can make a consumer high, especially an inexperienced one, but without the intensity of the regular THC;
delta-8 has all benefits of recreational weed — it improves appetite, alleviates pain, provides relaxation and elevates mood. However, the experts say that the chances that one can get stoned with delta-8 are far fewer than with delta-9;
it also has many CBD-like positive health effects, such as anxiolytic, anti-nausea, antispastic, neuroprotective ones, and many others;
delta-8 is a good choice for marijuana newcomers. If someone has never tried weed and does not know how the body will react, it’s better to start with something light and moderate;
this new THC is also a much better way to combat social phobias. When there is a need to alleviate anxiety and overpass the fears of building relations and socializing, and at the same time to keep the head clear and the mind fresh, THC-8-delta is the best alternative;
the last but not the least — the Farm Bill of 2018 gives delta-8 THC a kind of legal status. Thus, until this hemp-derived THC remains in this gray zone, weed users can consume it with almost no fear. But be aware — most likely, you will fail the drug test after delta-8. And, this unregulated situation will not last for long, so be careful.
Why stay on the safe side:
we do not really know what exactly we consume when vaping or eating cookies and gums with delta-8 THC. Reputed toxicologists say, for example, that there are multiple cases recorded of children and youngsters consuming delta-8-THC products and then getting into the hospital with heavy poisonings. Yet, there is no hard evidence that delta-8 is the one in charge here;
light THC is still THC, and some users report increased heart rate and heavy sleepiness. Other possible side effects include trouble breathing and discoordination;
unregulated status has its disadvantages, too — manufacturers and distributors do not pay much attention and accuracy in terms of dosage of the active ingredient. Thus, vaping light weed, you may get a dangerously high dose of cannabinoids.
As in any other situation, when choosing whether to try something new or to stick to your favorites, it is better to do proper research and make solid decisions. Check the laws and regulations of your state and city. If you take cannabis for some health issues, consult with a doctor. And start slowly. Delta-8 THC most likely will not do more harm than any other THC, still there is no good reason to risk your health.