What is Delta 8?

By: Max Bleich

 

While most people have hopped on the cannabis train heading for a final stop in the relaxation station, not everyone is aware of the newest cannabinoid in town, Delta 8 THC. 

The Delta 8 isomer of Tetrahydrocannabinol, like its cousins, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD), is a cannabinoid extracted from the cannabis family of plants. In this case, products containing Delta 8 are being sold in the same manner as CBD products, including hemp flower. Unlike CBD, however, Delta 8 THC carries psychoactive traits that may result in europhoria for the user. 

As best described by a very official and scientific Grove Bags field test, “Delta 8 is like a diet weed. It won’t get you stoned the same way most THC will, but you’re going to be mellowed out for sure.” For the test, we tried Koi’s mango-flavored Delta 8 Gummies and Vance Global’s Delta 8 machine-rolled hemp cigarettes. 

Like most edibles, the mango gummies from Koi resulted in a noticeable body high for both myself and my research partner. We found that, while we didn’t feel any overt sense of euphoria, that we felt that same type of ‘good’ often felt when enjoying cannabis edibles. 

The hemp cigarettes, however, led to a much more prominent instance of euphoria, as well as a feeling of intense relaxation, due to each cigarette containing double the dosage of CBD as there was the Delta 8 isomer. 

For states that have not yet legalized recreational cannabis, Delta 8 products pose a yet unexplored opportunity for cannabis-like products that are safely extracted and legal to enter a growing market. Don’t have access to legal THC? Besides CBD, Delta 8 may be a consumer’s only legal option to explore cannabinoids 

Already, states like Texas, where marijuana is not recreationally legal, are seeing soaring sales alongside CBD products, which have risen to prominence throughout the past few years. On the flip side, recreationally legal Colorado’s state Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) made the controversial decision to ban Delta 8 products from sale, citing health concerns and insufficient research surrounding the isomer. 

Currently, Delta 8 products are being sold nationwide under a legal gray area that allows this newly embraced cannabinoid to be sold anywhere from one of the dozens of websites online to the average American gas station down the street. 

Problem is, due to its relatively recent availability on the market, some Delta 8 products are missing lab testing information and, at the moment, few products contain a regulatory seal of approval. 

The Delta 8 products we used were all lab tested, and the dosages were measured and seemed fairly accurate. However, this is not always the case for these products, and consumers are advised to avoid any hemp or cannabis product that does not have visible regulatory labeling or lab testing information. 

In Michigan, lawmakers fearful of unregulated products are now rushing to push through regulatory legislation to give the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency authority on Delta 8 products in the state. Again, lawmakers cited the concern of the health and safety of Michiganders in their unanimous passage of a first round of bills regarding the matter.

While we still have a lot more to learn about Delta 8 products and the safety of the isomer itself, these recent developments beg the question: how much more do we have yet to learn about cannabis? What undiscovered secrets lie beneath the verdant green buds and stems? There is much work yet to be done in the world of cannabis, and thanks to Delta 8’s emergence, we have made that much more progress.