Delta – 8: What is it? Why is it popular?
Cannabis is made of different chemical compounds called cannabinoids. These cannabinoids are responsible for giving Cannabis the many properties it is well known for, i.e. euphoria, appetite, etc.
The most well-known cannabinoid being Delta - 9 THC, Delta - 9 can be found in your standard Cannabis found in a dispensary but requires a Medical Marijuana Card.. Recently,
Delta - 8 THC has seen increased popularity and usage leading many to wonder why. So, what is Delta - 8? Why is it so popular? Should you consume it? Allow this article to be your introduction into the world of Delta - 8.
What makes Delta – 8 different?
At their cores, Delta - 8 & 9 are very similar. As Leafly explains, "Delta-8, like delta-9 (regular THC), binds to the body’s endocannabinoid system, which causes you to feel high. Chemically, delta-8 and delta-9 are similar in that they both have a double bond in their structures. This double bond is thought to produce the intoxicating effects that make you feel high. "
Though the effect is similar, Delta - 8 is less potent. As Leafly continues, "The two THCs are chemically different in the placement of the double bond. Both cannabinoids have a chain of carbon atoms, but delta-8 has the double bond on the eighth carbon, whereas delta-9 has it on the ninth."
These chemical differences, though seemingly small, are great enough to see one as legal and the other as illegal.
The major difference between Delta - 8 & 9? Δ8 can be purchased legally without the need for a Medical Card. Since Delta - 8 is derived from Hemp, under the 2018 Farm Bill, it is considered legal. Due to its low THC content, there exists a loophole that allows for the manufacturing and sale of Δ8. Any gas station, smoke shop, or venue where tobacco is sold can sell Δ8.
Another difference is that Δ8 is less potent than Δ9. This makes Δ8 a prime choice for new users or those that are overwhelmed by Δ9's stronger effects. Beware, however, that high doses of Δ8 will result in a heavy high.
Where is Delta – 8 headed?
The future of Δ8 is murky. Though it is technically legal, there is even less research in circulation than there is for Δ9. This lack of research has created many fears for the FDA.
To frequent users, Δ8 is just like baby Marijana, to the FDA, an understudied product being sold to almost every state in the US. As of now, 18 states including, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, and Washington, have all banned or restricted the sale of Δ8. This leads many to wonder why so many states where Marijuana is recreationally legal have banned this byproduct. The simple answer is that the lack of research creates a dilemma in allowing its distribution.
As for places where it is legal to sell, different forms of ingestion and strains seem to be the path Δ8 is taking. As of right now, edibles, concentrates like dabs and vapes, topicals, and plant buds are all in circulation. Many of these forms of consumption are made with strains that can be found with Δ9 strains. The next major battle for Δ8 will most likely be in the FDA's hands, and whether or not they will ban the sale completely.
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