By now you have heard about delta-8 THC and the huge push to have it shipped and sold across state lines. You may be asking yourself questions such as what is delta-8 THC, does it get you high like regular weed, how is it legal, and why are so many states now banning it or making it illegal. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, so I decided to only use delta-8 THC for a week and see how it compares to smoking and eating the “real deal” marijuana products with regular old THC in them. So, what happened and what was it like to do hemp-based delta-8 THC for a week and why would someone switch to from regular THC to delta-8?
I think the best way to set this up is in a short FAQ type article, so we can hit the big 5 questions around delta-8 THC and get right to the review. Without further ado…
What is delta-8 THC and why are people going bananas over it?
Meet the delta-8-THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is very similar to the delta-9 THC cannabinoid. You may already be familiar with THC, the legendary cannabinoid that is responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis. Both are very similar, and the only thing that differentiates them is the presence of a few electrons.
Delta-8-THC is one of the four common cannabinoids present in dried flower, but it still only makes up less than 1%. The others include CBD, CBN, and THC. Just like its close cousin THC, the delta-8 also has psychoactive effects although it’s less potent.
Delta-8-THC is different from delta-9-THC and this accounts for the differences in the physical and mental effects induced by both compounds. Delta-8-THC has a double bond on the 8th carbon while delta-9 has a double bond on the 9th carbon. This difference in the orientation of the double bond makes delta-8-THC completely different from delta-9-THC though there still exists some similarities.
The National Cancer Institute in its definition of delta-8-THC defined it as an analog of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with antiemetic, anxiolytic, appetite-stimulating, analgesic, and neuroprotective property. Further clarification on the compound shows that it binds to CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors located in the central nervous system. These cannabinoid receptors are G-protein coupled receptors. Upon binding to these receptors in the brain, delta-8-THC also causes a euphoric feeling though not as potent as delta-9-THC.
Isn’t it all THC? Who cares?
This is where it gets complicated or interesting, depending on where you stand in the industry. We know Delta-8 gets you high, in a similar way to regular THC but just off a delta, but THC is listed as a schedule 1 drug on the CSA, or Controlled Substance Act, and it is considered a very dangerous drug by the US Federal government and has extremely strict distribution and sales protocols. Delta-8 THC is technically not the THC compound since it has a double bond on the 8th carbon if you want to go back to Chemistry class and the Periodic table. Boom! We have a loophole!
Delta-8 THC is technically not on the CSA, not regulated by the US Federal government. The loophole gets even bigger when you find out you can extract delta-8 from hemp and create products that get you high but that are legal under the 2018 Farm Act, which legalized hemp in all 50 states in America. So, we have an extra bonded 8 carbon atom that keeps it off the Controlled Substance Act, and since you can make it in a lab from hemp to make a long story short, it is legal under the Farm Act Right? Check out our story on Josh Swisher, the chemist who figured all this out and how to make it.
Wait, so the hippies and chemist figured out a way to beat the US government on getting high and shipping products that get you high all around the country?
They did for a while, but the jig is up for the most part. State governments are banning delta-8 THC at a rapid clip as over 14 states have now made selling and distributing delta-8 off limits and illegal. The Federal government probably won’t take an official stance and change the CSA at this point for delta-8 as they are trying to legalize regular old THC and getting ready to collect taxes on its sales.
Why not just use regular THC and why even switch or try delta-8?
Many people don’t have access and legal ways to get THC products, so the loopholes mentioned above were ways to order a product that gets you high, a molecular cousin of THC, and have it delivered right to your door, “legally”.
Well, do you get high or what is delta-8 like?
I tried delta-8 THC for one week straight and put the “real deal Holyfield” on the shelf for 7 days. I ordered a variety of THC edibles from Delta Munchies. I wanted to give it a full spectrum look, no pun intended, so I got 5mg, 10mg, 30mg bags and said, “let’s do this”.
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I started out slow as I had no idea what to expect or the experience I would have. We talking getting body high like CBG? We going tripping balls like LSD or shrooms? We talking “weed lite”?
My first day I ate 5mg of delta-8 THC in gummy form. The second day was 10 mg, and then 30mgs or more a day after that. I ordered delta-8 THC gummies, worms, and circles.
Delta-8 THC review
Let’s get to what you want to know. Do you get “high high” off it? Yes, while it seemed I needed more quantity for the effect, ie, bang for the buck, you do get “high high”. For example, a 10mg THC edible would be a solid high AF for 3 or 4 hours for me, where to get that same entrenched feeling, it required 30mg of Delta-8. While I may have a higher tolerance than “normal folk”, I assume if 20mg is what you need to get a good hit of THC through a few hours, you will need to use a multiple of 1.5x or 2x to “get there”. Okay, so how much do you need and quantity is covered, moving on.
Do you get high like you do on regular THC?
I wish this was an easy answer to tell you, like either “yes, it is exactly the same,” or “no, it doesn’t really get you high”. It does get you high, but with a delta-8 carbon bond difference, you do have a different feeling getting “high” on delta-8 THC compared to regular THC. Is it better or worse? The high was more CBG or CBD high, lots of body relaxation and body buzz, but as our previous articles on delta-8 THC have talked about, it has less psychoactive effect than regular THC.
What’s it like getting lubed up on delta-8 THC edibles?
While you won’t get crazy head high or stoned like regular THC, if you had no access to “real deal THC”, it is a no-brainer home run, beggars can’t be choosers, right? The best way to describe it would be like coffee, Red Bull, Monster Energy, and 5-Hour Energy. Coffee high and addiction has been around for 2,000 years like weed, you know how much caffeine is in one cup and you know what 1, 2, and 3 cups of coffee will do to you in a morning.
Delta-8 is like the new kid on the block, the Red Bull or 5-Hour Energy. It has caffeine in it, expressed on the packaging on how equivalent it is to a cup of coffee, ironically. Does coffee, Monster, and Red Bull all have caffeine and have the similar effects on you when you drink them (i.e. caffeine in the blood system)? Yes. Are they all the same as a cup of coffee, the exact same affect as a 5-Hour and Red Bull for everyone, no.
Delta-8 THC and regular THC are similar, cousins if you will, in the same way coffee and Red Bulls or Monster Energies are all in the same family tree of ingredients and desired affects, but they are different. The feeling and sensation from a cup of coffee is different than a Red Bull, similar in a 50,000-foot level and intended results, but different when digested and passing through the body.
If you are used to regular THC, you will not be as impressed with delta-8 as it has less psychoactive effects than THC. If you have no access to regular THC, then Delta-8 will blow you away and you will love it. Weed Lite may be an apropos name, yes it works, and if you don’t know any better or can’t get THC in your area, then it is a fine product. The body high is right up there with CBD or CBG, a strong body warm and buzz is guaranteed included with Delta-8 highs, so that is great for body aches and pains and a good night sleep.
Will you drop your weed and run to hemp-based delta-8 THC once you try it? No. If you have no access to THC or prefer to not have such a “head trip” while getting high and want more of a complete body high and relaxation, then delta-8 is a great solution for you. If you fall under the “I love getting high on weed but I don’t like the crazy psychoactive effects sometimes in my mind and head”, then delta-8 THC made from hemp is a great, repeat, great, product for you. It is also cheaper and easier to get than THC if you are in a non-legal or highly regulated market.
Think of delta-8 THC as “weed lite” or “body high weed.” The marijuana industry now has a Red Bull or Monster Energy type variant from THC. Will one replace the other? No. Are states banning delta-8 THC by the month? Yes.
Enjoy it while you can, experience it, and put it on the shelf for the “I really want to sleep well or get my achy body to relax, but I don’t want to go on a THC roller coaster high in my head.”