Updated: Apr 21, 2021
I think there is no debate to be had over the absolutely tectonic impact that Delta 8 THC has had on the Cannabis and Hemp markets over the last year - especially here in Omaha, where we have yet to pass any marijuana laws at a state level. When CBD hit stores several years ago, I thought it would be the last straw to break the back of federally illegal marijuana. The huge presence of CBD, even in a town like Omaha, surely signaled the end of prohibition - or so I thought. What I did not anticipate was the rise of Delta-8 THC, which has blurred the line between legal and illegal cannabis even further, making the arbitrary definitions even more ridiculous. In my opinion, nothing could have been better for the cannabis industry than the development of Delta-8 products. Nothing has caused more confusion either!
Anyone who has spent even an quick afternoon looking into the science behind Cannabis and Hemp has come across the basics behind why it gets you high, namely, THC. More specifically, the compound found in marijuana is Delta-9 THC. I'm not a chemist - so I will not try to explain the intricacies - but it is sufficient to say that Delta-9 and Delta-8 THC are both THC, though the Delta-9 compound is more potent. However, both will get you high. That being said, I want to go through the two most common questions/misconceptions regarding Delta-8 that I field on a daily basis.
First, there is a common misunderstanding that Delta-8 only comes from Hemp and Delta-9 only comes from Marijuana. This is only partly true. The Delta-8 that we sell here at Greenlight Natural in Omaha, which is federally legal, is derived from Hemp. Now, both Delta-8 and Delta-9 can be derived from Hemp and Marijuana. However, Delta-8 being derived from Hemp is EXACTLY what makes it legal. The 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized Hemp derived products such as CBD, states that anything derived from Hemp is LEGAL as long as it does not exceed 0.3% DELTA 9 THC. Thus, even 99% pure Delta-8 THC is legal as long as it contains under 0.3% Delta-9 THC and is derived from legal Hemp. Is this a loophole? Perhaps. I like to think that our human desire for altered states of consciousness will always be stronger than regulations meant to prevent that - and loopholes will always be discovered.
Second, many people are under the wrong impression that Delta-8 is synthetic. A few years back a popular and controversial product hit the market known as K2 and Spice. This was an herbal smoke blend sprayed with a synthetic THC. Many confuse Delta-8 with K2. As with the previous misunderstanding, there is a touch of truth here mixed with false information that leads to this idea. Delta-8 is a naturally occurring cannabinoid in the Hemp plant - it is not synthetic. However, it occurs in such a small amount naturally in the plant that to extract it outright is nearly impossible. As such, CBD is converted into Delta-8 in a lab setting. Technically speaking, Delta-8 is what is known as an ISOMER of CBD. It is NOT synthetic. This is a very critical distinction to be made. Synthetic THC's are not legal. However, the 2018 Farm Bill states that all derivatives from Hemp - and it specifically names isomers - are in fact legal.
There are detractors and those who worry that Delta-8 will not be legal once those in power get wind of how popular it is becoming. I remain an optimist and hope that the trend in cannabis legalization throughout the country is only going in one direction: acceptance. It is, however, critical that good and reliable information is given to customers and consumers of Delta 8. Bad information leads to bad laws. As always, I hope you learned a little something! Let me know in the comments why you use Delta 8!