We know that cannabidiol (CBD) is just one of the cannabinoids in the hemp or cannabis plant. Most cannabinoids are chemically related. These chemically related substances share traits, health benefits. Nonetheless, they are different, and each of the compounds has unique effects on health.
In fact, it is not rare for the industry to look for chemically related compounds. Chemically related compounds may have similar actions, but each may have unique benefits. Just take the example of antibiotics called beta-lactams. It all started with the discovery of penicillin, but now we have numerous antibiotics in the group that are better than penicillin, like ampicillin, amoxicillin, and so on.
Since delta 9 THC (regular THC) is a banned substance, there is an increased interest in substances related to it. Delta 9 THC causes euphoria, and it is addictive. Still, at the same time, it may be pretty good for specific disease conditions like countering anxiety and panic. So, can delta 8 THC be regarded as its safer and legal analog?
What is Delta 8?
Delta 8 has suddenly gained lots of popularity in certain groups. This is because people are actively looking for something that could be as good as regular THC, but with a much better safety profile.
Delta 8 is quite similar to delta 9 in its chemical structure, with only a small difference. However, the molecule is a little smaller and has much lower potency when compared to its bigger brother delta 9 THC. Nonetheless, it must be understood that both are forms of THC. Nevertheless, when people are saying THC, they generally refer to delta 9 and not delta 8.
What is Delta 8 Legal?
It is one of the complex questions. However, since most of the delta 8 is extracted in a similar way to delta 9, they appear to have a similar legal fate.
Nevertheless, how substances are regulated differs a lot. For example, even in the recreational drug industry, it is not rare to develop some potent psychotic agent, which is not illegal in the books. It means that if someone creates an entirely new chemical with a mild-altering effect, it may remain legal for some time before regulatory agencies step in.
And the same is valid for delta 8, which falls into the gray area. It is not entirely legal, as it retains the main properties of a typical psychotic agent. Nonetheless, due to the lack of enough data, it may remain legal in some places.
Most nations or states are just starting to classify delta 8, which is already legal in some states of the US. While in parts of the EU, it may be legal or illegal.
Nonetheless, its minute amounts in CBD would be legal. Quite like regular THC, if delta 8 is in amounts that do not cause euphoria (less than 0.2%), it remains legal.
Does Delta 8 make you High?
Many people are looking for ways to experience a legal high. It is this category of individuals highly interested in delta 8. Additionally, some people are always looking for something not as potent as delta 9 THC and can yet provide some high or similar relaxing effects at lower dosages.
When comparing delta 8 vs delta 9, it appears that delta 8 is very similar to delta 9 in most of the ways. Unfortunately, due to ethical reasons, there are not many studies. Nonetheless, it is worth knowing that delta 8 was discovered way back in the mid-20th century. Some of the early studies suggest that oral or intravenous delta 8 is quite comparable to delta 9.
But again, the experience of marijuana enthusiasts varies greatly from clinical researchers. Clinical researchers have a narrower approach, and they are only interested in whether delta 8 causes high or not. They are not interested in exploring the quality of the high. On the other hand, people who have used delta 8 describe it as much lighter, having greater relaxing and energizing properties.
So, does delta 8 get you high? Yes, both the researchers and cannabis enthusiasts agree that delta 8 can give high.
How is Delta 8 Extracted?
Delta 8 is in very small amounts in the legally grown hemp plant. Thus, the most common way of its production is through the conversion of pure CBD to delta 8 THC.
Most CBD manufacturers would start with decarboxylation, also called decarbing of the plant material. It involves heating hemp material to a certain temperature, which converts CBDa to CBD and thus helps improve the quality of raw material.
The next process would be CBD extraction. For this, most would use one of the methods that are oil extraction, solvent-based extraction, and solventless extraction (supercritical CO2 extraction).
After this, the next logical step is creating high concentration CBD with the help of winterization and distillation. It produces 99% pure CBD isolate.
Needless to say, that manufacturers can skip the steps above and can start with CBD isolate, which is commonly available.
Next comes the most critical step called rapid isomerization of CBD, which can help convert CBD to either delta 9 THC or delta 8 THC.
For CBD isomerization, producers would generally dissolve CBD into glacial acetic acid. This will initially convert CBD to delta 9 THC; however, THC created this way is not stable, and it will ultimately convert to delta 8 after about 72 hours.
It is worth knowing that researchers also know other ways of synthesizing delta 8 THC by using other organic compounds as a base.
Where is Delta 8 Available?
Delta 8 is still widely available on various online platforms, with varying degrees of purity. It is available in powder forms and as a delta 8 flower. It still remains legal in most parts of the EU and many parts of the US.
However, its future is unclear. If recreational use of marijuana becomes legal in the future, then the future of delta 8 also seems bright. Nonetheless, there are chances that various drug enforcement agencies may go against delta 8, and there are high chances of it becoming illegal.
To conclude, delta 9 THC causes euphoria and is addictive. Nonetheless, it has an excellent relaxing effect on the brain that is not possible with CBD alone. So, it means that people are looking for something that may have a mind-altering impact closer to delta 9, and still, it should be legal. At present, delta 8 is one such option and a legal option in parts of the world.
Essentia Pura is focused on full spectrum extracts of industrial cannabis, but the uprising of compounds such as delta-8 THC, which are rare in hemp are intriguing. Which minor cannabinoids do you believe will be the next big thing? Let us know!