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Delta 8 is currently all the rage right now among cannabis enthusiasts. You can find any number of Delta 8 THC-infused products across the internet. They range from tinctures to softgels to gummies to all sorts of other edibles.
But what exactly is Delta 8?
That’s a great question, and it’s one we set out to answer in this handy short guide.
Where Does Delta 8 Come From?
Delta 8 is a cannabinoid that is extracted from cannabis plants. Most of the time it comes from hemp specifically, rather than marijuana. It also tends to occur in very small amounts.
So, what is a cannabinoid then? To put it simply, they are naturally occurring compounds found in cannabis plants. Here are some of the most commonly known cannabinoids:
Delta 9 (THC)
Delta 8 (THC)
There are over 113 known cannabinoids, with many new ones being discovered frequently, each producing their own different effects.
What Does Delta 8 Do?
To explain how cannabinoids such as Delta 8 work, first we need to talk about the endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a network of cell-signaling receptors that help with the regulation of processes throughout the body. This includes processes carried out by the immune and nervous systems.
All animals—both vertebrate and invertebrate alike—have been found to have endocannabinoid systems (ECS). So it’s not something unique to humans. It can be found across the entire natural world.
The ECS has two primary types of cannabinoid receptors, known as CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are typically found in brain cells and throughout the nervous system, while CB2 receptors are found in the body and immune system.
Cannabinoids bind to these receptors, and are subsequently broken down by them to produce their effects.
These are some of the effects of Delta 8:
Better rest and relaxation
Increased focus and clarity
It should be noted that the scientific research regarding Delta 8 is still ongoing and inconclusive. However, the results so far have been promising, as the cannabinoid has been found to have a wide range of benefits for its users.
Will Delta 8 Get Me High?
The short answer is yes, you may feel some effects from Delta 8 THC. It’s a psychoactive compound after all. However, it’s not what you would experience with Delta 9 THC, which is the cannabinoid that most people are more familiar with. For starters, it’s a far more mellow and mild buzz. Most tend to report feeling relaxed and clear-headed after taking Delta 8.
How Do I Take Delta 8?
Delta 8 comes in a variety of different forms. So your choice will depend on whatever you feel most comfortable with.
The most widely available Delta 8 products are edibles, particularly gummies. All you need to do with these is take the suggested dosage size and then wait about an hour and a half before deciding to take more. The edible method tends to take a while to kick in, so it requires a bit of patience.
Vape cartridges are another common type of Delta 8 product. Inhaling Delta 8 via a vaping device usually produces the fastest results of all of the different methods. However, given the current controversies surrounding vaping, it might not be for everybody.
Next, there’s Delta 8 oil tinctures. If you’ve taken CBD oil before, these are likely very familiar. You just unscrew the cap from the bottle, fill the dropper to the desired amount, squeeze the dropper under your tongue, and then hold it for about 60-90 seconds before swallowing.
Regardless of what method you choose, the standard advice is to “start low and go slow.” You don’t want to overwhelm yourself with too high of a dose. Most beginners start with about 10 mg of Delta 8 before increasing as needed.
Is Delta 8 Legal?
While Delta 8 products are legal on a federal level, there have been over a dozen states that have moved forward with banning them.
Here are the states where sale/use of Delta 8 is restricted, as of June 2021:
Needless to say, it’s strongly recommended that you check your local laws before purchasing any Delta 8 products. There are several states in which the legal status of Delta 8 is still pending and may be subject to change.
How Are Delta 8 Products Made?
Most brands use a supercritical CO2 process to isolate and extract the cannabinoids from hemp. However, there are some unique challenges regarding Delta 8 extraction in particular.
One of the biggest issues is that naturally occurring Delta 8 THC is a rare substance. It only accounts for 0.1% of the compounds found in the hemp plant.
So what often happens is that Delta 8 is synthesized from CBD. This is possible since both Delta 8 is technically an isomer of CBD. That means the two compounds share the exact same atoms, just in a different arrangement. Through the atomic rearrangement of CBD, Delta 8 can be made in higher quantities.
Where Can I Get Delta 8 Products?
Delta 8 can be bought in most shops and dispensaries in the states in which it’s legal. Yet, these places are where you might run into some subpar products. Overall the safest place to acquire Delta 8 products is online. This is because the best Delta 8 brands online provide independent lab results and customer reviews for you to check out before making a purchase. That way you can make sure that they’re safe and free of any contaminants. Everest, for example, is transparent about how their products are made; they also have customer service on hand to answer any of your questions. This is a sign of a company that cares about its customers and is confident about the quality of their products.
It’s always recommended to talk to your doctor before consuming any Delta 8 products. If you are currently taking any prescription medications, there’s a possibility that it might cause an adverse interaction. So it’s better to ask a medical professional for their advice first.
We would also suggest doing as much research as possible. Given that Delta 8 is still fairly new, we’re likely to learn a lot more about it in the coming years. The best way to protect yourself is to stay informed!