What is Delta-8 THC?
Delta 8 THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is a naturally occurring cannabinoid in cannabis (hemp and marijuana) and is commonly abbreviated as Delta 8 THC, Δ8THC, Δ8, D8, D8 THC, and D8THC. It exists naturally and can also be produced by converting CBD or Delta 9 THC via a chemical reaction typically using heat, catalysts, altered pH environments, and/or solvents. Delta 8 THC is an extremely viscous oil and exists in an “activated” state similar to Delta 9 THC, meaning it does not need to be decarboxylated to feel its effects.
And what may be the most medicinally and societally beneficial feature of all is Delta 8 THC may have incredibly reduced chance of addiction, as well as a built-in protection against abuse. Those who consume excessive amounts of D8 THC can build a tolerance to the mental “high” very quickly. So individuals wanting to consume D8 THC consistently in a recreational manner are forced to do so responsibly. This effect doubles as a benefit for those who use THC medicinally daily and need to be functional as they may be able to completely remove the “high” feeling altogether while still getting the relief they need.
While it is still early, from a medicinal standpoint, Delta 8 THC seems handidly to surpass both CBD and Delta 9 THC combined. The effects can be both life changing and life saving. Since its introduction to the cannabis community, nothing can come even remotely close to receiving the same amount of positive reviews.
Legalities of D8 THC
Delta 8 THC was made legal by H.R. 2: The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, commonly referred to as the 2018 Farm Bill. It was specifically made legal when hemp allowed for all derivatives, isomers, and cannabinoids of hemp that were not Delta 9 THC.
Up to that point, D8 THC had been illegal and was specifically named in the Controlled Substances Act. However, in addition to making all hemp cannabinoids, isomers, and derivatives legal, H.R. 2 specifically includes text to remove all confusion between laws by amending the Controlled Substances Act to exclude Delta 8 THC from hemp.
Delta 8 THC is federally legal and legal in most states, but it is not legal in all states. D8 THC is legal in most states that have hemp laws mirroring H.R. 2, however not all states do this. Some states specifically exclude D8 THC or have laws that do not specifically make all cannabinoids, isomers, and derivatives of hemp legal, creating a grey area for the compound.
Delta 8 THC Effects
- Mood boost/Happier
- Soothes aches & pains
- Better sleep
- Increased sex drive
- Less nauseous
- Increased appetite
The effects of Delta 8 THC vary per person, but the average experience could best be explained by imagining combining the best parts of CBD and Delta 9 THC. It is relaxing, mood-boosting, pleasantly euphoric yet clearheaded and not overwhelmingly intoxicating. It’s motivating/energizing to some, especially at lower doses, and sleep-inducing to others, especially at higher doses.
With appropriate dosing, users report feeling far more functional and active on Delta 8 THC versus Delta 9 THC. D8 THC also appears to be more medicinal than both CBD and Delta 9 THC.
The lack or reduction of “mental fogginess” and paranoia is also a unique and beneficial trait of D8 THC as it allows many users the ability to take it while still accomplishing daily tasks. Negative effects can include drowsiness, upset stomach, dry mouth, red eyes, and headache.
Onset of D8 THC Effects
Delta 8 THC effects vary depending on the method of consumption but typically are delayed slightly more than Delta 9 THC effects. Purity and the presence of other compounds seem to play a role as well.
Pure Delta 8 THC vape can be felt immediately or within a few minutes, whereas a D8 THC oil with a presence of 20% or more CBD can delay the noticed onset of effects by as much as 20 minutes.
When eating Delta 8 THC, a user may not see peak effects for anywhere between 1-4 hours, which is a little different than Delta 9 THC which may peak anywhere between 45 minutes and 2 hours.
Dosing Delta 8 THC
Due to the delayed onset of Delta 8 THC, a user may need a few uses or days to find their perfect dose. Doses are highly individualized and don’t completely seem tied to any specific physical feature (age, sex, weight, etc.) so, regardless of size, it’s best to start with a lower dose and work your way up. You can always take more, but you can’t untake Delta 8 THC.
A typical oral dose for Delta 8 THC is between 10-40 mg. Those that need above 40mg tend to be heavy recreational users of Delta 9 THC. 10 mg can make a big difference in effects for some people so we generally recommend to not exceed 10 mg’s when stepping up in dosage.
How Long Do D8 THC Effects Last?
The length of Delta 8 THC’s effects are very unique to the individual. As an average, we see high purity vapes lasting 1-5 hours and tinctures and edibles lasting 5-12 hours. Larger doses generally create longer lasting effects, especially with tinctures and edibles.
Delta 8 THC Safety
Due to Delta 8 THC needing to be created in a lab, the primary safety concern is that the lab procedures are performed correctly by a trained chemist.
In terms of safety with acute usage, there is no known deadly overdose limit with D8 THC. However, when eating D8 THC, consuming more than one’s individual needs can induce extreme paranoia and anxiety, just like Delta 9 THC edibles. Go easy on the edibles and work slowly up to find your proper dose.
Note that there is no long-term safety data for D8 THC.
Tolerance to Delta 8 THC
There are no human studies on the tolerance of Delta 8 THC. However, our observations have shown it to be similar to Delta 9 THC as tolerance will build gradually over time and can be accelerated from overuse.
There have been some reports that tolerance to D8 THC builds more quickly than with Delta 9 THC, but these are almost always accompanied by admissions of the individuals using D8 THC quicker and more often than they did with Delta 9 THC. The primary reason users cite for this is the delayed onset of D8 THC in comparison to Delta 9 THC.
Whereas a user familiar with Delta 9 THC may use D8 THC and expect to “feel” something within a certain timeframe based on their past Delta 9 THC usage, D8 THC may take slightly longer to give that similar feel. This oftentimes results in individuals dosing themselves 1 or more times more thinking they “didn’t take enough”, creating a situation where a user doses more than necessary. In turn, the user then becomes tolerant to D8 THC at an accelerated rate.
Will I Pass A Drug Test on Delta 8 THC?
No, as Delta 8 THC’s metabolites are either that same or too similar to Delta 9 THC’s and will trigger a positive test for Delta 9 THC.