What Is Delta 8 THC? Everything You Need to Know

Delta 8 THC is relatively new in the market, but it’s already changing the game.

When you talk about THC, most people who know a thing or two about cannabis will automatically think about Delta-9. For the longest time, people think of THC as the psychoactive component of the cannabis plant and that it starts and ends with Delta-9. Then came CBD with all its hype and later on others like CBG, CBT, CBL, and even THCV.

This is where people realized there is so much more to the cannabis plant than just THC. Now, there seems to be something even better in the market.

An additional cannabinoid known as Delta 8 THC that’s determined to steal the thunder from Delta-9. So, what is Delta-8 anyway, and why is it making so much noise?

What Is Delta 8 THC?

Delta-8 is a cannabinoid, just like Delta-9 or CBD though Delta-9 appeared a long time ago and currently has a market cap of about $89.36 million. The “8” stands for the chemical bond placement, which is just one step from Delta-9.

This structural similarity allows it to have similar effects with Delta-9. Still, the elimination of a few atomic bonds means very significant differences.

The word Delta is technically a premonition and a way to classify the various types of THC. Like there are many types of CBD, there are many different THC compound types, all with different arrangements and structures. The cannabis Sativa plant, particularly marijuana, has a great amount of Delta 9 THC.

Delta-8, on the other hand, grows in very little quantities in both marijuana and hemp. For it to be harvested from either plant, it requires special growing conditions, special breeding practices, and a very particular extraction method. This is the main reason why it has, for a long time, been hard to produce commercially.

What Sets Delta-8 Apart From Delta-9?

The first difference between the two is the source. While Delta-9 THC is extracted from the marijuana plant, Delta-8 can be extracted from the hemp plant. Both are psychoactive, but Delta-8 has less intensity compared to Delta-9.

For most people, Delta-9 THC comes with severe side effects like anxiety and paranoia associated with getting too high. While both compounds bind to CB 1 receptors, Delta-8 is less potent and more stable with less affinity to CB1 receptors. This means you’ll generally get a milder high.

Still, it’ll also depend on the strain you consume and the application method, such as vaping, edibles, or smoking.

What Are the Benefits of Delta-8?

More and more studies are being released about Delta 8 THC. We’re learning a lot more about how it works and how it is beneficial. According to study, Delta-8 has been described as an analog of tetrahydrocannabinol.

It comes with anxiolytic, antiemetic, analgesic, neuroprotective, and appetite-stimulating properties. This essentially means that this THC variation is anti-nausea, anti-anxiety, and a pain reliever, with numerous other health benefits of cannabis. Delta-8 can be used to stimulate your appetite and the neuroprotective effects can protect your brain cells

The fact that Delta-8 exhibits lower psychotropic potency means that its benefits can be enjoyed without you being as likely to experience the severe side effects that come with Delta-9 THC. Delta-8 has been discovered to deliver similar benefits to CBD, with the only difference being that it does come with a high euphoria feeling since it’s a THC variant.

Most of the people who have tried Delta 8 THC products claim that it gives them a clear-headed high. It leaves them energized and motivated but still in control. They claim that it doesn’t make them feel as lethargic as Delta-9 does.

Is There Scientific Evidence to Back Up Delta-8?

It’s only recently that Delta 8 THC has appeared in the market and become legal in small quantities. The fact that marijuana still illegal in many states in America makes research a bit limited. However, in one study, Delta-8 was described as a more efficient cannabinoid because it has lower psychotropic potency.

As early as 1974, government researchers conducted a study on mice infected with lung cancer. The main goal was to determine the effectiveness of Delta-8 and gauge whether it was harmful to the immune system. The researchers found that after 20 days of administering treatment, the tumor sizes had reduced.

They also discovered that the survival rates went up for the mice Delta 8 THC was administered to. Shortly after that, research was limited due to the status of the Cannabis Sativa plant in the US. However, more study was conducted later on.

In 1995, researchers administered Delta-8 to children of ages 3 to 13 years. The children had hematologic cancer and the research found that this THC variant reduced nausea related to the cancer treatment. They also observed that it had no significant side effects.

In another study, researchers administered Delta-8 to mice that had completed a weight loss regimen. The aim was to study its effect on appetite control. After analysis, they concluded that Delta-8 caused an increase in food consumption.

It further improved the cognitive function of the mice and did not have the effects usually connected to cannabis. Due to these findings, the researchers suggested that consumed in low doses, Delta 8 THC may have the potential therapeutic agents in weight disorder treatments.

The Entourage and Ensemble Effect of Delta-8

The entourage and ensemble effect essentially means that cannabis is more effective when taken in its full spectrum of cannabinoids. This means that it would work best if it’s not isolated like CBD or THC.

In turn, it results in a more powerful effect by being taken all at once. In theory, Delta 8 THC can help with the entourage effect. However, research still cannot prove that cannabis can be more or less effective with Delta-8.

Is Delta 8 THC Legal?

What is the Delta 8 THC legality? Being a THC variant, it’s a given that you would think that Delta-8 is illegal in the US. This is actually true because it’s not legal nationwide.

Still, it is legal in more states than you would think, and you can check this article to confirm how many. The 2018 Farm Bill clarified the legal status of the non-psychoactive cannabis plants. It states that all hemp products are legal as long as they contain 0.3% THC or less.

However, the bill went a step further to clarify that it was 0.3% of Delta-9 THC. This means that delta-8 was not mentioned since it is considered to be a minor cannabinoid.

Since there was no clarification on Delta 8 THC, people have automatically assumed that it is legal in all concentrations. That said, the DEA published an addendum that actually closed that loophole and clarified the legality of Delta 8 THC.

It has redefined tetrahydrocannabinol under the law and stated that synthetically producing THC in any form is illegal. This is regardless of whether it is Delta-9 THC or Delta 8 THC. It clarified that synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinol remains to be schedule-1 controlled substances.

The legal status of Delta-8 remains unclear. Most people argue that it’s legal since it’s derived from the hemp plant with 0.3% THC.

Delta-8 Extracts Vs. Synthetics

One of the most significant reasons why Delta-8 has been so unpopular is the fact that it naturally occurs in very low concentrations in the cannabis plant. What this means is that this THC variant needs to be extracted or synthesized. Most manufacturers have no idea whether they should legally synthesize it in lower concentrations or extract it from the hemp plant.

Who Can Use Delta 8 THC?

Delta-8 can fill a very unique segment of the cannabis market. It is a unique version for people who like the benefits that come with CBD but not the side effects that come with a Delta-9. It proves to be a middle ground between the two as it provides benefits and a mild high-feeling without impairing cognitive functions.

What Are the Side Effects of Delta-8?

Despite not being as potent as Delta-9 THC, Delta-8 is still a THC compound that produces psychoactive effects. These effects also come along with similar behaviors. It promotes regulatory actions through the body via the endocannabinoid system.

It’s understandable if you may be a little hesitant to use it. It’s also understandable that you want to know all the side effects before you decide whether you want to dive in.

Here is a list of the possible side effects you may experience from Delta-8.


Despite having anti-anxiety properties, if you consume too much of it, you may experience a paradoxical effect. Of course, people who are used to Delta-9 would not get this feeling. However, those who are not will be affected due to the psychoactive properties of the compound.

It could make you feel uncomfortable if consumed in large doses. If you are looking to start consuming Delta-8, it’s advisable to start slowly in small doses to gauge how the cannabinoid affects your body.

Dry Eyes and Mouth

Dry eyes are a potential side effect, though it’s usually temporary or as long as Delta-8 is active in your body. It may also depend on the strain you consume, but you can expect your eyes to be a little red. In some cases, it may be uncomfortable if the eyes dry out and lack sufficient moisture, although this rarely happens.

The compound could also cause dry mouth temporarily, or for as long as it is active in your body. For this reason, it is advisable to increase your water intake when you consume Delta-8 to avoid this side effect. It’s usually not a result of body dehydration, but an effect on the salivary glands.


After consuming Delta 8 THC in high doses, some people experience temporary grogginess. You may also feel an urge to have a nap. The grogginess may be accompanied by mild lightheadedness, poor concentration, fatigue, and brain fog. If you experience these side effects, expect them to go away as soon as the compound wears off.

Getting a Body High

Delta-8 usually causes two types of highs, which are a body and a mind High. It’s known to cause an intense body high, especially if consumed in high doses. If you’re not used to consuming THC, you may experience difficulty moving, better known as “couch lock,” and numbness.

You could also feel an over-awareness of body sensations or twitching. You may also experience mild heart-pounding although it’s not related to your cardiovascular system.

Inability to Drive

With all the above symptoms, taking Delta-8 can impair your ability to drive. For this reason, it is advisable to avoid driving once you consume this THC variant. You should be as responsible with Delta-8 as you are with Delta-9 or alcohol.

A Failed Drug Test

A lot of people are usually interested to know whether they would fail a drug test after consuming Delta 8. The answer to this question is yes. You see, Delta-8 triggers the same metabolites that break down Delta-9.

This is usually what a drug test is looking for and even though both Delta-8 and Delta-9 are different, it is the THC that triggers the test. Drug and urine tests test for anything related to THC.

Delta 8 THC: Everything You Need to Know

Now that Delta 8 THC products have hit the market, you may be interested in trying them out. We hope that our post has informed you as much as possible and made it easier for you to decide whether you want to give it a shot. If you’re looking for the benefits offered by CBD but would like the high-effect, then Delta-8 may be a good option.

For more informative posts on CBD and THC, please visit our blog today.






June Potter wrote this article on behalf of FreeUp. FreeUp is the fastest-growing freelance marketplace in the US. FreeUp only accepts the top 1% of freelance applicants. Click here to get access to the top freelancers in the world.   







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