Delta-8-THC or "Delta-8" has made quite a buzz recently, both in California and across the United States. This magical molecule is touted by producers as a milder, less psychoactive variant of traditional THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
But what exactly is this increasingly popular cannabis product, and why are we just now hearing about it?
Delta-8 versus Delta-9
One of the biggest differences between Delta-8-THC and Delta-9-THC is that Delta-8 is synthesized from hemp-derived CBD, while Delta-9 comes from the marijuana plant. The difference between hemp and marijuana is the amount of THC: a plant is considered hemp instead of marijuana if it contains less than .03% THC. The synthesis of Delta-8 is achieved by applying acid and heat to hemp-derived CBD to produce a consumable product.
The user experience of Delta-8 is different than the sensations associated with the more commonplace Delta-9. The effect of Delta-8 is allegedly less psychoactive than typical marijuana: users report more sensation in the body and less in the mind than with Delta-9. Delta-8 is said to stimulate body relaxation while reducing anxiety – without producing a strong head high. Advocates also claim it reduces inflammation and pain, though it remains unclear whether Delta-8 provides greater wellness benefits than CBD or Delta-9-THC.
The Rise of Delta-8-THC
The widespread availability of Delta-8-THC is a recent development, although the compound was first synthesized in the laboratory back in 1965. Enter the 2018 USDA Farm Bill. This federal legislation legalized hemp extracts, which resulted in a surge of Delta-8 products in the latter part of 2020. Suppliers, producers, and investors moved quickly to get products to market in the form of edibles, vapes, and tinctures. Since 2018, more cannabis companies have started selling Delta-8, and more producers are in the pipeline.
But is legal Delta-8-THC too good to be true?
Legal Challenges and the Fate of Delta-8
The 2018 Farm Bill created an unintentional loophole for Delta-8-THC. The law only specified legal status for hemp-derived extracts, but it failed to address substances synthesized from hemp-extracted CBD. As a result, many states (11 currently) have moved to close the loophole and enacted policies to make Delta-8 illegal. In states where Delta-8 remain legal, the compound is considered either “under review” with legal status pending, or state authorities have taken no official regulatory position on legal status of the product.
It’s not yet clear if Delta-8 will be a boom or bust for weed lovers and the cannabis industry, especially with legal status of the substance in question. Current predictions go both ways. Some industry insiders predict Delta-8 will continue to grow in popularity and eventually disrupt the existing marijuana market, while others believe legal uncertainties will inhibit widespread adoption of the compound.
Delta-8 Is Legal and Available in Orange County, California!
The loophole hasn’t closed in California, so you can legally purchase Delta-8 in the Sunshine State. If you’re curious what all the hype is about and want to experience Delta-8 for yourself, check out our Delta-8 Fruit Krispy Treats and let us know what you think. Bud Man OC can deliver to your hotel, workplace, or home anywhere in Orange County!