Delta-8 (or delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol) continues to gain momentum because it’s the middle ground for those who feel CBD is too mild but marijuana to be too intense. Delta-8 is a cannabinoid (a naturally occurring compound) found in hemp and cannabis plants, with a chemical structure similar to delta-9, the main psychoactive compound found in marijuana. In cannabis plants, there are over 100 known naturally occurring compounds, like CBD, delta-8 (THC) and delta-9 (THC).
These compounds engage with your body’s network of receptors that regulate processes, such as your immune and nervous systems and your digestive functions and cardiovascular system. This is your endocannabinoid system (ECS) – it’s a big deal as it controls most of your body’s functions. The compounds in cannabis plants bind to those receptors and are broken down by them to produce their effects.
Delta-8, like delta-9 (regular THC or what is referred to as “marijuana”), binds to the body’s endocannabinoid system. Both delta-8 and delta-9 are chemically similar in that they both have a double bond in their structures. Where they differ is the placement of that double bond in their chain of carbon atoms. Delta-8 has a double bond on the eight carbon while delta-9 has it on the ninth. Because of the different location of it’s double bond, delta-8 is much less potent than delta-9. Keep in mind, research is ongoing, and more research needs to be done on delta-8 and how it interacts with the body.
So Will Delta-8 Get Me High?
Delta-8 produces a mild, less potent “high” than Delta 9. If Delta 9 THC is marijuana that gives off a “high,” think of Delta 8 as a slimmed down version with very little of the psychoactive ingredient. Some report feeling more relaxed and clear-headed after taking Delta 8.
Benefits of Delta-8
When delta-8 binds with ECS receptors, it can be relaxing, energizing and even euphoric. It also engages with the receptors to alleviate pain and anxiety. Delta-8 users have reported finding relief in many areas, including:
NOTE: There is not enough scientific evidence on delta-8 to report absolute benefits. Any reported benefits are anecdotal and from users. And Experience with cannabis, frequency of use, and your body chemistry all come into play when deciding how “high” one will get. Consumption results may vary.
Is Delta-8 Legal?
On the federal level, yes. The 2018 farm bill (https://www.fda.gov/news-events/congressional-testimony/hemp-production-and-2018-farm-bill-07252019) states that legal hemp is a cannabis plant that contains 0.3 percent Delta 9 THC or less – levels considered too low to have a psychoactive effect.
And in Florida, you can legally purchase Delta 8 if you are over 21.
IMPORTANT: If you are in another state, check their guidelines. States like New York, Mississippi, and Arizona have restricted the sale and use of Delta 8.
Delta 8 is definitely in a grey area right now because it is fairly new and research is ongoing.
Is It Safe?
Always use caution when dealing with your health. Talk with your doctor first!
Since delta-8 is fairly new, there is a lack of research and evidence in regards to its impact on overall health. There are positive reports of people using delta-8, who claim its many benefits. However, there is still a lot of unknowns about delta-8’s risks. So please, speak with a medical professional first.
Delta-8 has not been evaluated or approved by FDA for safe use in any context.
Also make sure the delta-8 you are purchasing is Third Party tested and free of pesticides and solvents.
Watch a quick video of delta-8 gummies from Doctor’s Own, which we have available in our clinic.