Did you know that the first uses of marijuana date back to 10,000 B.C.? Hemp was used in ancient China to make rope, while cannabis oil was used as a food source.
Marijuana didn’t become taboo for hundreds of thousands of years after this.
Today, support for the legalization of marijuana is growing rapidly. Globally, the cannabis plant is getting taken off of the most strict global drug category, as its medicinal properties are getting more acknowledgment.
Still, cannabis has a long way to go, both in the United States and around the world.
With the introduction of Delta-8 THC, many cannabis users are hopeful that this is the way forward and that more progress is to come.
But what is Delta-8 THC, and how is it made? Read on to learn all you need to know about this THC compound.
Parts of the Cannabis Plant Explained
To understand what Delta-8 is, you must also understand the different parts of the cannabis plant.
There are three main things that will be covered here: cannabinoids, terpenes, and hemp.
Cannabinoids are the compounds found in the cannabis plant. There are over 100 cannabinoids, but some of the most common are THC, CBD, CBC, CBN, and CBDA.
Cannabinoids work by binding to receptors in the endocannabinoid system in your body. The two main receptors are C1 and C2. C1 is in your brain, while C2 is in your body.
The two cannabinoids you really need to worry about are THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol).
THC is a compound that has psychoactive effects. It binds to the C1 receptor.
CBD is the compound that binds to the C2 receptor and has no psychoactive effects.
It’s important to note that there is more than one THC strain. The most commonly found strain is Delta-9 THC. This is what gives you the intense “highs” that are so often stereotyped in society and media.
Delta-8 THC is a relative of Delta-9. It is very similar but has different qualities which change how your body reacts to it.
The power of terpenes is often underestimated. Terpenes are aromatic compounds that are secreted from the cannabis plant.
Like other strongly-scented flowers, the plants developed terpenes to attract pollinators and repel predators.
Terpenes are often used as the base of many essential oils. Isolated terpenes are also used for everyday products, like perfumes and beauty products.
When the terpenes are dried and extracted from the plant, they become terpenoids. When combined with cannabinoids, they may alter how your body reacts, enhancing some effects. This is known as the “entourage effect.”
Like essential oils, terpenes may help reduce stress, anxiety, and other ailments. One of the most significant contributions they make to marijuana is the flavor profile.
Terpenes create a more three-dimensional experience. All of the scents you experience when using cannabis, such as the citrus, skunk-like, fruity, or earthy scents, are all thanks to terpenes.
They also affect how cannabis tastes. If you found one strain that you really enjoyed, it’s most likely because of the terpenes involved (along with the THC and CBD content levels).
There are many different terpenes, but these are the main kinds that you will find, along with the therapeutic benefits they may have:
- Limonene – citrusy aroma – contains anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antiviral properties
- Pinene – pine and earthy aroma – contains anti-inflammatory, relaxing, and bronchodilator properties
- Myrcene – earthy aroma – contains anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-tumor, and relaxing properties
- Linalool – floral aroma – contains anti-microbial, anti-anxiety, and anti-depression properties
You’ve probably seen hemp in stores and have thought, “I thought that was illegal!”. Well, it once was. But hemp is only one part of the cannabis plant, and it’s a part that has much less psychoactive properties.
The key difference here is THC content. The term “marijuana” refers to cannabis that has a THC content of 0.3 percent or higher. The term “hemp” refers to cannabis that has less than 0.3 percent THC content.
Yes, they’re both cannabis and come from the same plant. Hemp is legal, while marijuana is not.
Industrial hemp is used to make a ton of different goods, such as clothing, paper, textiles, lotions, writing tools, and shoes.
It’s essential to understand what hemp is, so you can better understand Delta-8 THC.
What Is Delta-8 THC?
So, now that you know all about the cannabis plant, you can truly understand Delta-8. Delta-8 THC is similar to Delta-9 but with some crucial differences.
Their differences refer to one chemical bond placement, which is what the “8” signals. While this may not seem like a big difference, it majorly affects how your body responds.
While Delta-9 only binds to the C1 receptor in the brain, Delta-8 binds to both the C1 and C2 receptors. This comes with major health benefits since it can help relax both your mind and body at the same time, reducing inflammation and anxiety.
However, Delta-9 binds to your C1 receptor three times more effectively than Delta-8 does.
This is why Delta-9 has more intense psychoactive properties, which can also have adverse effects like paranoia.
Along with this, Delta-8 has less than 0.3 percent THC content.
This means that it is essentially considered hemp, though it is still THC and does have psychoactive properties that can get you high. The experience is just less intense and overwhelming than that of Delta-9.
Delta-8 strains are very similar to Delta-9, with a mix of CBD and terpenes to create your full cannabinoid profile.
Using Delta-8 will give you the full cannabis experience without the negative and overwhelming reactions that are often associated with THC.
How Is Delta-8 THC Made?
Delta-8 THC is found naturally in the cannabis plant, as is Delta-9. However, Delta-8 is much rarer than Delta-9, found in only tiny amounts.
Extracting it from the cannabis plant requires a distillation process. Starting with the hemp flower, it is broken down and isolated by using a film distillation and variations in temperature and pressure.
Once this process is finished, a Delta-8 distillate is created, with a high Delta-8 THC content. It can be further refined for an even higher THC content.
However, because Delta-8 is so rare, this process can become quite expensive in order to make Delta-8 in bulk. Instead, there is another process used, converting other more common cannabinoids into Delta-8 THC.
In order to do so, CBD is generally used because of how available it is and how similar it is to Delta-8. This requires a conversion process that uses reagents, solvents, and acids.
To convert CBD to Delta-8 THC, a certain amount of CBD is dissolved into sulfuric acid, which is then dissolved into glacial acetic acid.
Once this is dissolved, it sits at room temperature for up to three days in order to get the highest Delta-8 THC content possible.
After three days, the CBD has turned into 15 percent Delta-9, 54 percent Delta-8, 10 percent Delta-8-ISO, and ten percent CBD.
This is a much more affordable process because CBD is so widely available, and using only a little bit creates a huge amount of Delta-8.
Of course, this is better left to the scientists since playing around with acids and solvents can be unsafe if you aren’t trained properly.
Legality of Delta-8
Since Delta-8 THC is considered hemp, is it legal? Well, that answer is a little tricky. Delta-8 THC is legal at a federal level, which is why it’s becoming such a big deal.
In 2018, the Farm Bill passed, which is how hemp became legal. Before that, the entire cannabis plant was a Schedule I drug, which is strictly forbidden and illegal, alongside drugs like heroin.
However, the passing of this bill meant that now, a part of the cannabis plant was completely legal. This was great news for hemp farmers, who now had added protections.
This means that hemp is legal even in states in which marijuana is completely illegal. Since Delta-8 has less than 0.3 percent THC content and is considered hemp, it’s completely legal, too.
Yet, when this bill passed, a few states set up restrictions anyways, making Delta-8 illegal in these states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, Rhode Island, and Utah.
In all of the other states, you can legally buy Delta-8. This is such huge news because Delta-8 will be the only access cannabis users have in states that have strict marijuana laws.
Remember, Delta-8 does have psychoactive properties, which is why this is much bigger news than the legalization of hemp CBD.
How Can You Use Delta-8?
You can use Delta-8 in all of the same ways that you can use Delta-9. If you have never tried Delta-9 but have been curious, Delta-8 can be a great bridge between CBD and THC.
It is often considered a middle ground between the two. If you’re worried about getting “too high,” paranoid, or anxious from THC, trying Delta-8 might be very beneficial to you.
It’s also perfect for people that use cannabis for social anxiety or for anti-inflammatory disorders. It allows you to reap the benefits of CBD and THC without getting intoxicated. Therefore, you can enjoy it in your daily life without worries.
You can use Delta-8 in all the many forms, depending on your preference. If you prefer to consume cannabis, you can get Delta-8 tinctures or edibles.
You can also take Delta-8 sublingually, by putting a few drops under your tongue. This is one of the quickest and most effective ways of using cannabis, besides inhaling it.
If you like topicals, they make Delta-8 creams and lotions, which are very similar to CBD topicals. If you experience chronic pain in your joints, using topicals could help aid this.
You can also inhale Delta-8 using either flower, oils, or dabs. If you’re an experienced cannabis user and just want to try something new, this may be your preferred method.
If you’re a new cannabis user and feel overwhelmed by all of these options, don’t worry. One of the best things about Delta-8 is that you don’t have to worry about getting paranoid or anxious, no matter what form you choose to take.
Where Can You Find Delta-8?
Since Delta-8 is federally legal, you can find Delta-8 in most dispensaries across the country, whether in person or online.
3Chi was the first dispensary that started selling Delta-8 when it became legal, so they have one of the widest selections you’ll find.
Some states require you to have a medical card to even enter a dispensary, but still, you can purchase Delta-8 without a medical card.
It’s important to research your particular state’s rules and regulations to be sure before purchasing. Remember, it is legal, though some states have banned it regardless.
The Revolution of Delta-8 THC
Delta-8 THC has seen a huge revolution in the past few years. More people are becoming aware of its presence, which means more places are working to make it widely available.
If you’re curious about THC, why not give Delta-8 a try? You can enjoy your cannabis experience without any negativity. Or, if you’re looking to lessen your Delta-9 intake, Delta-8 can be a great option for you.
Now that you’ve learned all about Delta-8, why not learn something else today on our website? You can become an expert on a number of subjects by browsing through our collection of articles.