The Latest Cannabinoid – Delta 8 THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is a naturally occurring cannabinoid in cannabis (hemp and marijuana) and is commonly abbreviated as Delta 8 THC, Δ8THC, Δ8, D8, D8 THC, and D8THC. It’s an isomer of both cannabidiol (“CBD”) and Delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol (“D9THC”), sharing a chemical formula of C21H30O2 and a molar mass of 314.464 g/mol.
It exists naturally and can also be produced by converting CBD or Delta 9 THC via a chemical reaction typically using heat, catalysts, altered pH environments, and/or solvents.
The Delta 8 THC we have for sale is an extremely viscous oil and exists in an “activated” state similar to Delta 9 THC, meaning it does not need to be decarboxylated to feel its effects. Discover the meaning of D8THC and how Delta 8 is made here.
The Delta 8 THC we have for sale is an extremely important cannabinoid due to its reported ability to serve as a more functional substitute for Delta 9 which is federally illegal. Delta 9 is known for high potency and has a fair amount of reported negative side effects: sleep issues, paranoia, laziness, etc. However, many users report Delta 8 THC as having either none or reduced side effects in comparison. This is an enormous benefit for the many individuals who are helped by Delta 9 cannabis but do not enjoy the side effects.
IS DELTA 8 THC LEGAL?
Delta 8 THC was made legal by H.R. 2: The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, commonly referred to as the 2018 Farm Bill. Delta 8 THC products are made from federally legal hemp – they are legal on a federal level, unlike regular THC. Until 2018 Delta 8 THC products had been illegal and were specifically named in the Controlled Substances Act. However, in addition to making all hemp cannabinoids, isomers, and derivatives legal, the 2018 Farm Bill specifically includes text to remove all confusion between laws by amending the CS Act to exclude Delta 8 THC from hemp.
Delta 8 THC products are federally legal if the final product has low concentrations of Delta 9 as stated in the bill (< 0.3%). Delta 8 THC products are also legal in most states, but they are not legal in all states. Delta 8 THC is legal in most states that have hemp laws mirroring H.R. 2, however, not all states do this. Some states specifically exclude Delta THC products.
HOW IS DELTA 8 THC MADE?
Delta 8 THC occurs naturally in cannabis plants (hemp & marijuana) but in very low concentrations. This means it is all hemp plants, hemp products, and most CDB products, however, the amount is so low that it cannot be extracted and put into products at prices many people can afford. Luckily, one of the great things about cannabis plants is how closely related the chemical components are structurally.
Delta 8 Chemical Structure
These structural similarities allow cannabinoids to be changed from one to another fairly simply. While many people want to call these “synthetics” that’s not an appropriate name for them. “Conversions” or “derivatives” is the more appropriate name, as not only do these compounds exist naturally, but many of these will change into each other naturally with the application of heat, time, and light. It’s thought that all cannabinoids start as CBGA and naturally synthesize into other cannabinoids during the maturation of the cannabis plant. A conversion of THCA to Delta 9 with the application of heat is a conversion performed at home by anyone who smokes marijuana.
Natural Conversions in Cannabis Plants
This is all to tell you that conversions are a natural part of cannabis and an integral part of the cannabis industry and should not be feared in a general sense. These reactions are also done to produce other rare cannabinoids like cannabichromene (CBC), cannabinol (CBN), Delta 8 THC, and can even be done to create abundant cannabinoids like Delta 9 more cheaply than straightforward extraction.
However, since companies produce D8 THC in a lab there does need to be some concern over the safety of the distillate. Mainly it is being created safely with all solvents, reagents, and acids or bases being properly removed from the end product.
CONSUMER REPORTED DELTA 8 THC EFFECTS
The effects and potency of Delta 8 THC vary per person, but the average experience could best be explained by imagining combining all the benefits of CBD and Delta 9. It is often reported as relaxing, mood-boosting, pleasantly euphoric yet clearheaded, and not overwhelmingly intoxicating. It’s motivating/energizing to some, especially at lower doses, and sleep-inducing to others, especially at higher doses.
With appropriate dosing, users report feeling far more functional and active on Delta 8 THC versus Delta 9. Delta 8 THC also has potential medicinal applications (pending further research), given its combined effects on CB1 and CB2 receptors vs. CBD and Delta 9.
Vaping Delta 8 THC
Vaporized Delta 8 THC effects can appear within 20 minutes and can last as long as 5 hours with peak effects typically starting to decrease after 30 minutes to 2.5 hours depending on the individual. The higher the purity of D8 THC and the fewer cannabinoids like CBD and CBG, the quicker the onset and higher the intensity of effects.
Delta 8 Edibles
Effects of oral consumption of Delta 8 THC can take anywhere between 45 minutes and 4 hours to peak, with effects lasting as long as 12 hours or more.
The lack or reduction of “mental fogginess” and paranoia is also a unique and beneficial trait of D8 THC as it allows many users the ability to take it while still accomplishing daily tasks.
Negative effects can include drowsiness, upset stomach, dry mouth, red eyes, and headache.
ONSET OF DELTA 8 THC EFFECTS
Delta 8 THC effects vary depending on the method of consumption but typically are delayed slightly more than Delta 9 effects. Purity and the presence of other compounds seem to play a role as well. Our observations have shown that a pure Delta 8 THC vape can be felt immediately or within a few minutes, whereas a D8 THC oil with a presence of 20% or more CBD can delay the noticed onset of effects by as much as 20 minutes.
When eating Delta 8 THC, a user may not see peak effects for anywhere between 1-4 hours, which is a little different than Delta 9 which may peak anywhere between 45 minutes and 2 hours.
HOW TO DOSE DELTA 8 THC
Due to the delayed onset of Delta 8 THC, a user may need a few uses or days to find their perfect dose. Doses are highly individualized and don’t completely seem tied to any specific physical feature (age, sex, weight, etc.) so, regardless of size, it’s best to start with a lower dose and work your way up. You can always take more, but you can’t take Delta 8 THC.
A typical oral dose for Delta 8 THC is between 10-40 mg. Those who need above 40mg tend to be heavy recreational users of Delta 9. 10 mg can make a big difference in effects for some people so we generally recommend not exceeding 10 mg when stepping up in dosage. Keep in mind that some users may also need less than 10 mg.
A typical vape dosage is 1-3 three-second puffs. It is typically not necessary to take more than this unless the user is a heavy user of Delta 9.
HOW LONG DO THE EFFECTS OF DELTA 8 THC LAST?
The length of Delta 8 THC’s effects is unique to the individual. As an average, we see high-purity vapes lasting 1-5 hours and tinctures and edibles lasting 5-12 hours. Larger doses generally create longer-lasting effects, especially with tinctures and edibles.
A difficulty in judging the length of effects is that potent Delta 8 THC has a fairly natural onset and comes down so that it is sometimes hard for an individual to truly grasp where their “baseline” is/was before and after taking D8 THC.
This is especially true for individuals who do not feel “high” from D8 THC but just get a boost in mood. This mood change is sometimes unnoticeable to the individual because of the natural onset and the user will think D8 THC had no effect. We’ve seen this many times in sampling sessions where the individual says they feel nothing, but someone they are with will then inform them how much more pleasant they’ve become in the last few minutes.
Another difficulty in judging the length of effects is that many reports are given based on the “peak” and thus disregard a substantial amount of time spent above baseline after the peak effects are felt. D8 THC effects do not peak and then disappear. There is a gradual phase-out of effects.
In general, the effects of vaporized D8 THC will be shorter than D8 THC that is eaten.
DELTA 8 SAFETY - CHECK LAB TEST RESULTS
Due to Delta 8 THC needing to be created in a lab, the primary safety concern is that the company follows lab procedures and that they are performed correctly by a trained chemist. Ensure that the company has real lab tests from a reputable lab. This will ensure that the product is free from harmful by-products. In terms of being safe with acute usage, there is no known deadly overdose limit with D8 THC (no need to panic and call any poison control centers). However, when eating D8 THC, consuming more than one’s individual needs can induce extreme paranoia, just like Delta 9 edibles. Go easy on the edibles and work slowly up to find your proper dose.
Note: that there is no long-term data for Delta 8, contact a doctor (medical care) before taking any substances if you have any safety concerns.
TOLERANCE TO DELTA 8 THC
There are no human studies on the tolerance of Delta 8. However, our observations have shown it to be similar to Delta 9 THC as tolerance will build gradually over time and can be accelerated from overuse.
There have been some reports that tolerance to D8 THC builds more quickly than with Delta 9 THC, but these are almost always accompanied by admissions of the individuals using Delta 8 quicker and more often than they did with Delta 9. The primary reason consumers cite for this is the delayed onset of D8 THC in comparison to Delta 9.
Whereas a user familiar with Delta 9 THC may use D8 THC and expect to “feel” something within a certain timeframe based on their past Delta 9 usage, D8 THC may take slightly longer to give that similar feel. This oftentimes results in individuals dosing themselves 1 or more times more thinking they “didn’t take enough”, creating a situation where a user doses more than necessary. In turn, the user then becomes tolerant to a D8 THC product at an accelerated rate.
DELTA 8 METABOLITES
Delta 8 is thought to have the same metabolites as Delta 9 THC except the double bond is changed when applicable. However, studies are not readily available on the exact metabolites. The only study even mentioning metabolites was done on mice.
Our initial observations suggest the metabolites of Delta 8 are longer lasting than Delta 9 THC metabolites when eaten and possibly stronger, too.
WILL I PASS A DRUG TEST ON DELTA 8?
No, unlike hemp-derived CBD – with Delta 8 you will test positive as the metabolites (chemical structure) are either the same or too similar to Delta 9. This will trigger a positive result on drug tests. We tested this by using at-home drug testing kits on Aire employees who only used Delta 8 and sending one employee to the same lab our local police go to for their drug testing. All tests were positive for THC.
While we’ve heard of others passing while using Delta 8 and failing due to CBD, we have not personally verified these reports. All of our firsthand data suggest that’s, at best, not common.
SHELF LIFE OF DELTA 8 THC
To date, the longest test we have done on the shelf life of Delta 8 THC oil potency is 4 months, and the oil came back testing better than it did the first time around. It was 95% D8THC when it was originally tested and 98% D8THC when tested at month 4.
However, this is within normal testing variance ranges and should not be taken to mean that D8 extracts become more potent over time. While we won’t say anything is impossible, it’s unlikely the oil became more concentrated with D8. The more likely conclusion is that everything remained unchanged after 4 months and the test had a minor variance.
The oil was stored in individual syringes in clamshell packaging, at room temperature (~72F), and out of direct light (sunlight or artificial light).
HOW DEFINITIVE IS THE RESEARCH DATA ON DELTA 8 THC?
In short, not very. Like almost every other cannabinoid besides Delta 9 THC and CBD, no long-term studies have been done on Delta 8 THC. While it is known to be a naturally occurring cannabinoid it is often found in very small quantities in flowers and extracts (<0.1%). Delta 8 THC products, however, may deliver D8 THC in up to 100% concentrations.
Is Delta 8 Safe?
Delta 8 THC has been safely used in the marijuana market for a couple of years, but those products typically use Delta 8 obtained via the isomerization of Delta 9 THC, not CBD products. These are slightly different processes, and due to the adverse events of the process -almost always contain a fair amount (5-50%) of Delta 9 THC in addition to Delta 8 THC (think cannabis products). Delta 8 THC derived from hemp must be done differently to remain “hemp” as the end product must contain <0.3% Delta 9.
What Consumer Feedback Says About Delta 8
While this quality feedback has been valid enough to help us make our products more effective, further controlled studies and more research need to be done to definitively prove any potential health benefits. We can say that the feedback on the benefits and safety of Delta 8 THC products on our site has been overwhelmingly positive.
OBSERVED POTENTIAL OF DELTA 8 THC / AREAS TO STUDY
It’s our initial observation that D8 THC has the potential to be several orders of magnitude more beneficial than CBD and Delta 9 THC, but it will take years of clinical tests to be able to prove that definitively. So it’s hoped that the medical and cannabis communities will rally hard behind this amazing new cannabinoid.