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What Is Delta 8 THC?

The Difference Between Delta 8 THC, Delta 9 THC, & CBD Oil

If you’re new to the hemp industry, you may be wondering about the difference between delta 8 THC, delta 9 THC, and CBD oil. While all of them are plant compounds derived from hemp (and in some cases cannabis plants), they are different compounds with varying effects and all have a different chemical structure.

Delta 9 THC is a major phytocannabinoid that interacts with the body's endocannabinoid system, while delta 8 THC is a minor phytocannabinoid that also interacts with the body. Users on both sides have reported potential pain relief and other experiential benefits from taking both - good news for public health. Delta 8 can be converted from hemp plants into delta 8 THC through a complex process called oxidation. Both have been known to have intoxicating effects.

The biggest difference between delta 8 tetrahydrocannabinol and CBD Oil is how it makes you feel. Unlike CBD isolate, Delta 8 THC will get you high similar to cannabis products depending on how much you take. CBD products will not. While both are technically considered a psychoactive substance, delta 8 THC adheres to what most people associate with psychoactive effects in the sense that you’ll feel high and CBD does not. There have been very few cases of adverse events involving a high from CBD and it's by products.

Delta 8 THC is only regarded as psychoactive because it interacts with the body’s health systems and helps calm the mind without the ill effects that many associate with the cannabis plant and cannabis products. Delta 8 THC offers a lower psychotropic potency than delta 9 THC. Delta 8 THC is also less likely to test positive on a drug test when compared to delta 9 THC as delta 8 THC is legal at the federal level.

Delta 8 THC plant being harvested on farm

How Is Delta 8 THC Made?

There are many different ways to make delta 8 THC. We’ll talk about the extraction processes later and discuss the differences between delta 8 vs. delta 9 and delta 10 vs. delta 8 below. To understand this plant compound, you need to understand how it differs from its similar tetrahydrocannabinol cannabis sativa family members.

Delta 8 THC
Delta 9 THC


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Delta 8 THC and delta 9 THC are pretty similar because they are both a type of tetrahydrocannabinol, and they have a similar molecular structure. On this molecular level, the only difference is the placement of a double carbon bond. With delta 8 THC, the double carbon bond is located on the eighth carbon in the chain.

The double carbon bond can be found on delta 9 THC on the ninth carbon bond — hence their names. Delta 9 is the type of THC that everyone knows about. It’s the one the laws were created around and causes some controversy when it comes to federal and state laws and opinions.

The other significant difference between delta 8 vs. delta 9 THC is the high. Both do get you high, but delta 8 THC from hemp is going to offer a smoother experience with a lot less safety concerns when compared to cannabis use. It’s worth noting that the delta 8 gummies high is the best of the THC highs with less of the drawbacks which can spell good news for public health.

This is because you likely won’t feel the intensity that comes with a delta 9 THC high because this molecular difference seems to interact with the ECS in a unique way. More research is needed on this and other cannabinoids, and for now, this is great news for those looking to get high without the couchlock and mind games often associated with consuming delta 9 THC.

Girl smiling while holding delta 8 gummies flavors in hand

Delta 8 THC Vs. Delta 10 THC

Delta 10 may be lesser known than delta 8 THC, but it’s still worth trying for yourself and learning about the differences. Many consumers of delta 10 THC report that it offers an even milder high compared to delta 8 THC, which is milder than delta 9 THC. Both are federally considered under the Farm Bill to not be controlled substances.

The molecular differences of these two are similar to delta 9 THC — it all has to do with the placement of those double carbon bonds.

You may have already guessed it, but delta 10 has its double bond on the tenth carbon in the molecule. We highly recommend it if you’re looking to try out these different plant compounds that are less restrictive and not federally illegal like delta 9 THC products.

Two girls on floats in water with delta 8 edibles
The Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system is a modulatory system in the body that helps with so many different processes. Studies have shown potential links between the endocannabinoid system and its connection to energy, mood, appetite, reproductive functions, pain sensations and receptors, inflammation, stress, and so much more. We always recommend you speak with your doctor as we cannot give individual medical advice.

Cherry flavor 500mg delta 8 gummies
Edibles on float with black background
How Does Delta 8 THC Relate To The Endocannabinoid System?

The endocannabinoid has two important receptors called CB1 and CB2. These receptors interact with naturally occurring cannabinoids found in the body. Delta 8 THC gummies 1000 mg and other hemp-derived products are also cannabinoids — just plant-derived ones — that also interact with the receptors in this system. While delta 8 THC needs to be studied to understand its interactions better, cannabis research is an excellent place to start understanding how these plant compounds can “agitate” these receptors, which then impact what the ECS communicates to other parts of the body.

This means that when delta 8 THC interacts with the CB1 receptor, it’s likely affecting the brain where these receptors are most prevalent. They’re also present in the pituitary, thyroid, and possibly adrenal glands, impacting these processes. The CB1 receptors are also activated in the cells that affect metabolism, the retinas, pain relief, reproductive cells, and so much more. Who knew?

There’s so much more to learn about the endocannabinoid system from cannabis research, but having a basic understanding of this vital system, especially the knowledge that it exists, is a great place to start.

Illustration of neurons firing in brain
The Entourage Effect.

When looking into delta 8 THC products and CBD products, you’ll likely come across the term The Entourage Effect. The Entourage Effect refers to the functions of the plant compounds in the body. If you consume only one plant compound, you may experience one thing. Still, if you introduce other plant compounds like additional phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, you may experience something completely different.Let’s say you consumed only delta 8 THC, or only hemp extract, or only whatever. You may still feel high or relaxed, or whatever the compound is supposed to do, which is great. And when you take delta 8 THC, or hemp extract combined with other phytocannabinoids and terpenes and flavonoids, you may experience the high while also feeling less pain or perhaps less stress. In effect, the idea behind the Entourage Effect is that the sum of the parts is greater than just the parts themselves. How does THC interact with the body? By entering the body, whether through the consumption of delta 8 gummies, tinctures, the skin, or inhaling, and then interacting with the endocannabinoid system.

Delta 8 THC Effects

Hemp delta 8 THC is an exciting plant compound. Users have reported delta 8 THC to potentially help with pain relief, and relaxation response, and to have other potential benefits similar to cannabis use. We’ll talk about its legality later, but there’s something to be said for a product that can get you high and is also legal in many states . When you’re purchasing hemp-derived products, the first question is often related to figuring out what the effects are.

Will Delta 8 THC Get You High?

This is a good question, and yes. Delta 8 THC will get you high . Of course, you can always take micro servings that may not produce a noticeable high that some people are chasing after, and it’ll still leave you feeling uplifted and more relaxed in a softer way.

It’s also entirely possible to consume delta 8 THC with a typical serving of 5 mg, 10 mg, or even 25 mg and experience a smooth yet noticeable high.

Delta 8 THC didn’t become popular just because it’s derived from hemp. It became popular because of how good the high is.

How Long Will A Delta 8 High Last?

Delta 8 THC and delta 9 THC are pretty similar because they are both a type of tetrahydrocannabinol, and they have a similar molecular structure. How long will a hemp delta 8 THC high last? The answer to this question depends on a few factors. As you know, all bodies are different. The length of the high depends on:

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    How you’re consuming the delta 8 THC. A delta 8 THC gummies high may last longer than tinctures or inhaling.
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    Our body chemistry — metabolism, body weight, genetics, etc.
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    How often you consume delta 8 THC. We’ll talk about tolerance in the next question.
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    How much you consumed.
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    What you’ve had to eat that day (kind of like drinking alcohol on an empty stomach means it’s going to hit harder and faster because the body isn’t processing any food first).
Hourglass showing amount of time left

If you take a 25 mg gummy (or even half of that), you’ll likely feel high for a few hours up to a day. If you inhaled delta 8 THC, you’d likely feel the effects for around 2 hours, but it could last up to 10 hours depending on the factors above.

There’s no real hard and fast rule about how long a high will last because there are so many different variables at play.

Can You Build A Tolerance For Delta 8?

Can you build a tolerance for delta 8 THC? Sure. You can build a tolerance for most things. The body is a pretty powerful and well-oiled machine. “Tolerance” is really the body self-regulating to these additional cannabinoids entering the body.

To self-regulate, desensitizing, and internalizing your body’s CB1 receptors over long periods of use. This self-regulation can make the hemp products seem less effective or noticeable.

The good news is that the body also resets every time you sleep. If you’re a really heavy user, it’ll likely not recede back to its original pre delta 8 THC baseline, but for most consumers, this should be enough.

You might hear of people taking a “T break,” which means they’re taking a tolerance break to help come back down to their actual baseline and allow the plant compounds to leave the body. This can take around 2 to 4 weeks for consumers who enjoy delta 8 THC frequently.

How Common Is Delta 8 Use?

Delta 8 THC use is widespread, even more so as its effects start to make their way around. It may be less known than hemp or delta 9 THC, but with education and premium products like Delta North hitting shelves, consumers are giving it a shot and raving about it — in the best way. You may find people who have never heard of delta 8 THC, and you may find those who can’t get enough of it. Perhaps, after you try it for yourself, you’ll be in the latter group.

Illustration of delta 8 gummies

Delta 8 THC Gummies

Hemp delta 8 THC gummies fall under the category of edibles. Edibles are just as they sound — things that are edible, things that you eat. Edibles come in many forms: gummies, cookies, brownies, chicken wings, whatever. When you consume delta 8 THC by eating it, especially through gummies (our favorite), you’re processing the delta 8 THC through your liver. This takes some time and can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 or 3 hours to activate. We love delta 8 THC gummies because it stays in the system much longer than any other delivery method, and they’re playful, and can offer some quicker release mixed with the liver release by sucking on them.

Illustration of delta 8 tinctures

Delta 8 THC Tinctures

Tinctures are a liquid that you drop under the tongue. You hold it there for about a minute, and it starts to absorb into the membranes in the mouth. This is a quicker activation time than edibles because it doesn’t have to pass through the liver to enter the bloodstream. If you’re consuming tinctures, you can let them rest in your mouth a while before swallowing. The joy of doing this is twofold. First, you get to enjoy the delicious, unparalleled flavors before you swallow them. Second, some of the delta 8 tincture is going to dissolve in your mouth and be absorbed into those membranes. So you’ll get some quicker activation, around 15 to 30 minutes, and then more delta 8 THC will be released after the rest of the swallowed piece processes through the liver—a win-win.

Illustration of delta 8 vapes

Delta 8 THC Vapor

Inhaling delta 8 THC is another popular option for those who enjoy quick activation times, around 5 to 10 minutes, and the experience of inhaling vapors from hemp. When you inhale delta 8, it activates quickly because the smoke goes straight to the lungs and then directly into the bloodstream. While this is fun if you want to get high quickly, it also lasts for a shorter amount of time and isn’t always the healthiest option for your lungs.

Illustration of delta 8 leaf

Delta 8 Topicals

Topicals are a different way to “consume” delta 8 THC. You likely won’t get high from it, but it can still interact with the cannabinoid receptors on the skin. Topicals come in the form of lotions, gels, salves, and oils. You can rub them on the skin for different kinds of body support as needed.

Brain while taking the cannabis sativa plant illustration
Potential Benefits And Side Effects of Hemp Delta 8

While research will be needed to understand the full benefits of delta 8 THC, the good news is that people don’t need to know the benefits to, well, benefit from them. When you do yoga, you gain benefits in body and mind whether you realize it or not. The same is true for delta 8. What we can do is make some quality guesses based on how other phytocannabinoids benefit a person, as well as go off of anecdotal evidence. It’s up to you to do your research, test out these products, and decide how they will best support your lifestyle.

Some of the possible benefits of delta 8 include:

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    Support with your daily wellness routine
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    Help with maintaining a sense of calm
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    Ready to tackle your to-do list
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    Capable of unwinding at the end of a long day

We keep the benefits loose because there aren’t studies out yet on this powerful plant compound. What is delta 8 THC? It’s exciting and in the early stages of understanding. Hemp has been around for a very long time, which means delta 8 has been around for a long time, even if humans are only starting to learn what it can offer.

Potential Side Effects Of Delta 8

The great news about delta 8 THC is that there seem to be very few side effects. As we’ve discussed, the delta 8 THC high is very different from a delta 9 high in its intensity. It’s much smoother, gentler, yet no less powerful. Delta 8 THC is generally thought of as safe as long as it is backed up by 3rd party lab results - good news for poison control centers.

We say, “yes, please!” to a high that doesn’t leave you with couchlock.

People gathered in circle on boat taking delta 8 products
Delta 8 leaf on white background with legal gavel

Is Delta 8 Legal?

At the federal level, delta 8 THC products are legal. But thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, states are allowed to interpret the federal laws as they see fit, which means that some states — we’re looking at you Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Kentucky, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, Rhode Island, Utah, and Vermont — have shipping restrictions on delta 8 or are working on creating restrictions or standards about how delta 8 can be manufactured, marketed, and sold. The latter, creating standards around delta 8, is great. Banning it outright, not so much.

Some states have deemed delta 8 as a synthetic product because of how it’s made. Delta 8 is created through a process called oxidation. Before we talk about oxidation, it’s essential to understand that delta 8 occurs in minimal quantities in the hemp plant naturally. To extract it would be wasteful and costly.

So the next best thing is to create delta 8 THC from other hemp plant compounds like delta 9 THC and hemp extract through a process called oxidation. This process involves time, heat, and light usually.

It’s similar to what’s done in nature to convert CBGA into other plant compounds — a parent phytocannabinoid responsible for converting into THCA and CBDA, which later become THC and hemp extract when decarboxylated.

Converting phytocannabinoids into other types of phytocannabinoids is a common practice that doesn’t detract from the quality or naturalness of the plant compound. Yet, some states are using this as a loophole to continue creating prohibitive hemp laws. What is delta 8? It’s not a synthetic cannabinoid, that’s for sure.

Where To Buy Delta 8?

If you’re looking to buy delta 8 online, you’ve come to the right place. Depending on where you live, you can find delta 8 products in stores like dispensaries or online. Delta 8 THC can also be purchased at some local convenience stores and gas stations like other hemp derived cbd products.

Your best bet for finding a quality product is to look online. When you seek out a premium delta 8 brand, you want to ensure they provide a Certificate of Analysis on all products, which means the delta 8 is going through third-party testing to ensure the cannabinoid profile is accurate and that it is compliant with federal law. I.e., the delta 9 THC content is less than 0.3% on a dry weight basis.

If you live in any of the “banned” states , you won’t be able to have delta 8 shipped to you very easily, so it’s best to do your research to make sure you aren’t getting yourself into any trouble.

A common question that comes up with delta 8 — and most hemp-related products, is can you travel with delta 8? There’s not a simple answer to that question. If you’re traveling and staying within a hemp-friendly and legal state, then you’re probably alright. If you’re crossing state lines, then it gets a little trickier.

You’ll want to be sure of the up-to-date laws surrounding delta 8 for wherever you’re traveling.

The Best Way To Store Delta 8

If you’re purchasing some delicious hemp delta 8 edibles , you’re going to want to store them properly. Just like anything perishable, you don’t want to leave bags or bottles unsealed and uncapped because the product might dry out. You wouldn’t leave a chip bag open overnight, so you don’t want to leave your products out in the open either.

You can store your products, whatever they are, in a cool, dry place. It’s best not to leave them in the sunlight, near heated surfaces, or in your car.

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