While marijuana is said to be a relatively mild drug with few side effects in comparison to tobacco and alcohol. An alternative with a psychoactive cannabinoid, Delta 8 THC, is available and adjudged to be significantly less potent than Delta 9 THC, but does delta 8 THC actually make you high?
Joseph Hoelscher, a founding member of the Texas Association of Cannabis Lawyers and longstanding member of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) Legal Committee talks about the hemp derivative. He said they emphasize that it won’t get you blitzed or make you wonder if a phantom person is following you. It’s also cheaper, taxed less heavily than legal pot, and available in unlicensed outlets that range from bodegas to truck stops to your corner newsstand.
Delta-8 extraction contains a psychoactive cannabinoid that gets you high. “It’s about one-third as psychoactive as regular weed,” Allison Krongard, co-founder of Her Highness and pot user commented. “For people who get paranoid from THC or are looking for an on-ramp [to getting high], Delta-8 is perfect. If you are a recreational user, wanting to get stoned out of your mind, it won’t get you there. But if you use weed to kill your anxiety or get to sleep, this is a great alternative.”
The main difference between Delta-8 and Delta-9 is explained by Christian Peterson, the co-founder and COO of Wunder, a cannabis beverage company based in San Francisco. He said: “Delta-8 has the double bond on the 8th carbon in the chain, while Delta-9 has the double bond on the 9th carbon in the chai.
I think it’s been shown that there’s a difference, agreed on according to Peter Grinspoon, a primary care physician at Harvard Medical School who specializes in medical marijuana. People report [Delta-8] as being less anxiety-provoking, less sedating, and a little more clear-headed than THC.
Grinspoon a board member of the advocacy group Doctors For Cannabis Regulation Delta-8 believes it can make an enormous difference for some patients. He said there is less confusion and spaciness or stonedness or whatever you want to call it. Whenever there’s another minor cannabinoid that people start puffing up, I always worry that the marketing claims and the desire to line people’s pockets are going to outpace the actual science. The research isn’t there yet to know for sure.
But before the market for Delta-8-THC products can get anywhere close to the current demand for CBD, entrepreneurs and doctors need to know: Is it even legal?
The perception that the Delta-8 is made from hemp makes a difference according to Ryan Cassell, co-founder and chief scientist of Crystal Creek Organics, a cannabis company based in Pensacola, Florida.
The entire industry … was assuming it was legal due to it being derived from hemp he says. The laws clearly define all hemp-derived cannabinoids and products with a Delta-9-THC level below 0.3 percent as legal. We shall see how all of that plays out in the coming months, as for now, our company has had to take a step back [from production] and wait for further clarification surrounding the laws and legal status of Delta-8.
These are early days and more research and studies into ailments being helped by Delta-8-THC will soon be available to the general public. Many scientists and doctors look at this as an exciting time.