Delta-8, or delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol, is a form of THC that can be extracted from Hemp, and is a close relative to the main psychoactive compound found in cannabis. According to Insider, “experts estimate that delta-8 has between half and three-quarters of the potency of delta-9 THC.” Consumers who have tried delta-8 report a relaxed, euphoric, and happy effect without some of the paranoia people associate with traditional THC products (i.e. delta-9).
Both cannabinoids bind to the body’s endocannabinoid system, however, the two THCs are chemically different. This chemical difference is what produces similar but mismatched effects when consumed. According to Leafly, “both cannabinoids have a chain of carbon atoms, but delta-8 has the double bond on the eighth carbon, whereas delta-9 has it on the ninth. Delta-8 binds to the endocannabinoid system in a slightly different fashion because of the location of its double bond. This is what is thought to make delta-8 much less potent than regular THC.”
Delta-8 currently exists in a legal gray area because it can be extracted from either hemp or cannabis. Few state laws explicitly address the legality of delta-8 THC, but we know that nearly all delta-8 on the current market is derived from CBD extracted from hemp, which is federally legal.
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