Delta-9, or Delta-9-THC, is the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis, but it is found in the good herb among hundreds of others. One of these compounds may be poised to contest the supremacy of THC. It's not CBD this time, but a component of THC itself, known as Delta-8-THC.
Most people are familiar with Delta-9, and the difference between it and its Delta-8 counterpart is minimal. The chain making up the compound has a double carbon bond on its eighth carbon instead of its ninth. This tiny change has attracted lots of interest.
High Times magazine refers to this THC derivative as "hemp industry's latest hype," and Discover Magazine reports that most cannabis users are considering Delta-9-THC's obscure analog. Delta-8 was also the subject of its own subreddit that boasts over 11,000 members.
All this hype appears to hinge on the fact that it delivers a smooth high without paranoia or anxiety tied to high THC dosages.
Distinguishing Delta-8 from Delta-9
Delta-8 occurs in all hemp and cannabis plants in minimal concentrations, and most of its products are created from hemp. It has a similar molecular structure to Delta-9, but there are a few notable differences. Other properties include potential pain relief, appetite stimulation, and aiding sleep, but its psychoactive impact is lower than Delta-9.
Being a minor cannabinoid in cannabis and hemp plants, Delta-8 is also less abundant. Research surrounding cannabinoids is pretty new and rising, but several major factors determine the impact of the two variations.
Delta-9, also known as tetrahydrocannabinol, is mainly associated with marijuana and cannabis. It contains psychoactive traits through its interaction with the endocannabinoid system but has been considered to host various potentially therapeutic traits for some users.
Nonetheless, with the therapeutic properties used widely and regularly, Delta-9 is also famous for its ability to get consumers high. However, some users have reported some unwanted side effects like increased paranoia and anxiety. These effects may ward you off, but Delta-8 could remedy the unattractive side effects thanks to the reduced psychoactive capabilities.
Key differences between Delta-8 and Delta-9 cannabis
Delta-8 differs from Delta-9 in the following ways:
Delta-9 is a dominant cannabinoid available in abundance. Thus, the extraction process is relatively cheap and straightforward. It's derived explicitly from marijuana.
On the other hand, Delta-8's extraction requires more effort because it's a minor cannabinoid. For most users, extracting it isn't worth the immense effort.
Fortunately, there's a simple method of extracting it, which involves the use of solvents. Of course, conversion can be pretty costly, but it's made it much easier to create Delta-8 products. Consequently, Delta-8 is extracted from hemp and not marijuana. The approach also ensures that the Delta-9 THC component remains under the 0.3% federal legality threshold.
Both cannabinoids have similar products. You can inhale them through vaping, smoke them as a flower, or consume them in edible form. There're also various capsules, edibles, tinctures, and other products.
A critical difference between the two THC variants is the effects they cause, a deciding factor among most uncertain consumers. Delta-9 is noticeably more potent than its counterpart, which means it has more considerable side effects like impaired motor skills, mental fog, paranoid delusions, and increased anxiety.
On the other hand, the Delta-8 experience is relatively much more manageable. Users report experiencing a definite high that's insufficient to impair their ability to focus or form coherent thoughts. Instead, you're less burdened by stress and more relaxed.
Another distinction is that Delta-8 eases you into the mellow state gradually. However, Delta-9 has a more instantaneous and rapid onset.
Marijuana isn't federally legal, and the push is mainly handled at the individual state level. Consequently, this directly affects Delta-9's legal fate. Any amount beyond 0.3 percent is illegal at the federal level, but it all depends on the local legislation at the state level.
Delta-8 is technically legal at the federal level due to the 2018 Farm Bill's ambiguities that legalized hemp production. Nothing inside this bill prohibits the extraction of Delta-8 from hemp. But at the state level, the variant's psychoactive nature has provoked a fair number of bans. Currently, 15 states limit the consumption and sale of Delta-8 products, and an additional six have pending legal action.
If your state allows you to purchase and consume Delta-9 products safely, you can get what you need from your local dispensary. There are limited online options due to prohibitions in inter-state shipping.
Since Delta-8 is federally legal, it can be shipped across state borders. That's why you'll find more online retailers offering the products. Of course, the products can't' be shipped to states that consider Delta 8 cannabis for sale illegal.
Notably, Delta-8 isn't FDA-regulated. So expect numerous low-quality products with potentially lots of unwanted impurities. Therefore, exercise caution when choosing your seller, and go for trustworthy and recognizable brands.
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