Delta 8 molecule in front of red bubbles

What is Delta-8? Learning the Basics

In the states where it is still legal to purchase, Delta-8 is becoming more and more popular. But what is it? Where does it come from? In this guide, we’ll answer all your pressing questions about Delta-8, including:

  • What is Delta-8 THC?
  • Where Does Delta-8 Come From?
  • What are the Effects of Delta-8 THC?
  • Does Delta-8 Have Psychoactive Effects?
  • How is Delta-8 Different From Other Cannabinoids?
  • Answering FAQs About Delta-8

What is Delta-8?

While THC and CBD are typically the two most talked-about chemical compounds in marijuana, there are actually hundreds of cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. Delta-8 THC is one of these cannabinoids, but it’s a compound often confused with Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, or Delta-9 THC, the more prominent form of THC. In fact, many people don’t even realize there is more than one form of THC. So what’s Delta-8? It’s still a cannabinoid, and it still causes psychoactive effects, but you can think of Delta-8 as the Diet Coke of THC—it is a less potent form of THC.

Both Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC bind to your body’s endocannabinoid system. However, slight differences in each compound’s chain of carbon atoms mean the experience is different. That’s why Delta-9 has the effects most cannabis enthusiasts are looking for when they consume cannabis, whereas Delta-8 has milder psychoactive effects and less potent side effects. 

The reason Delta-8 is popular is because it falls in a legal loophole where it hasn’t been made illegal in many states like Delta-9. This means Delta-8 THC can be manufactured and sold in various unregulated markets around the country.

Where Does Delta-8 Come From?

Delta-8 comes from hemp, which while technically is cannabis, it is cannabis that cannot have more than .3% THC. Because of this, hemp contains very little Delta-8. In order to achieve the quantity needed for the market, hemp is cultivated, CBD is collected, and that CBD is put through a conversion process to create more Delta-8. This process contains a lot of chemicals, and it’s unregulated in many states, so if you’re going to purchase Delta-8, it should only be from reputable dispensaries. 

Learn more about cannabidiol in our “What is CBD?” guide. 

What are the Effects of Delta-8 THC?

Delta-8 is typically known for its reduced psychoactive qualities, compared to the standard Delta-9 THC. Research is still being conducted to pinpoint the exact effects of Delta-8 THC. However, the National Cancer Institute has reported that it’s “an analogue of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with potential antiemetic, anxiolytic, appetite-stimulating, analgesic, and neuroprotective properties.”

Does Delta-8 Have Psychoactive Effects?

Yes, Delta-8 has psychoactive effects. These effects, while similar to Delta-9, are typically considered less potent. Because Delta-8 can be intoxicating, it’s important to purchase it from a reputable dispensary, and you should never assume that it’s automatically Delta-9 THC-free. With little-to-no regulations around Delta-8, you could be purchasing products with Delta-8 but also other cannabinoids and by-products of the conversion process used to make Delta-8. 

How is Delta-8 Different From Other Cannabinoids?

While Delta-8 may have some similarities to other cannabinoids, it is its own unique cannabinoid. Most commonly, cannabis enthusiasts compare Delta-8 to the two most commonly found cannabinoids: CBD and THC. When compared, here’s how Delta-8 stacks up:

Delta-8 vs Delta-9 THC:

Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC are quite similar—both do an excellent job of binding to the endocannabinoid system, resulting in psychoactive effects. Delta-8 is typically considered a little less potent than Delta-9. 

Delta-8 vs CBD:

While Delta-8 and CBD are both cannabinoids, Delta-8 has psychoactive properties and CBD does not. That said, CBD is often used by manufacturers to create Delta-8 using a conversion process. 

Answering FAQs About Delta-8

As more and more people learn about Delta-8, our cannabis experts (budtenders) are getting an influx of questions. Here are some answers to our most frequently asked questions about Delta-8: 

Is Delta-8 the Same as THC?
Technically, yes, but there is some nuance here. When the term “THC” is used in the cannabis industry, it typically refers to Delta-9, the most well-known version of THC. When this is the case, Delta-8 and Delta-9 are not the same—Delta-8 is its own, unique form of THC. So as long as you’re specific, yes, Delta-8 is a type of THC. 

Does Delta-8 Make You “High”? 
The term “high” is a slang word used to describe the psychoactive effects of cannabis. Delta-8 can create these effects, but they are typically considered more mild than Delta-9 THC. 

Do All Cannabis Plants Have Delta-8?
Yes, all cannabis plants have Delta-8 but only in small amounts. Because of this, manufacturers typically use CBD to create Delta-8. 

Does Delta-8 Have THC?
Yes, Delta-8 products have THC because Delta-8 itself is a type of THC. While Delta-8 tends to have more mild effects than Delta-9 THC, it still has psychoactive properties. 

Delta-8 Explained

Delta-8 is a unique product on the market, but we highly recommend purchasing it from a dispensary. This is the best way to ensure that you’re going to get a safe, high-quality product. If you’re curious about Delta-8, talk to one of our budtenders on your next visit to your local dispensary. They’ll be able to answer questions about Delta-8 and find the right products for you. 

Recreational cannabis is not available in all states. Cannabis is for medical use only and may only be used by certified patients in Ohio and Pennsylvania. State laws impact what dispensaries can and can’t sell to recreational customers and certified patients. Not every type of product, consumption method, dosage form, or potency mentioned on this blog will be permitted in all locations.