The newest hemp derived product that’s extremely popular is delta-8 THC (short for delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol). You’ve probably heard of it’s relative compound, delta-9 (THC), which is the active ingredient in medical cannabis (marijuana). Delta-9 is a scheduled substance meanwhile delta-8 is hemp derived, making Delta-8 federally legal at this time.
Delta-9 is known for it’s intoxicating effects. For the last few decades cannabis breeders have focused on increasing the delta-9 in their strains (phenotypes), since it causes the euphoric “high”.
For the last decade, a new focus has been toward the other 120 or more natural cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. Driven by the goal of finding all the beneficial compounds of cannabis, and learning more about the endocannabinoid system. Within cannabis there are many beneficial compounds such as CBD, CBN, THCa and CBG; all of which have shown some positive actions within the human body.
With the federal governments passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, and the legalization of hemp farming, the ability to utilize the cannabis plant legally has made it easier to obtain many of the cannabinoids such as CBD. The bill also legalized all hemp derived compounds other than delta-9 THC. This included the highly popular delta-8 THC. (at the time of this articles publishing)
Why is delta-8 so popular?
Delta-8 also known as D8, is so popular because of it’s minimal euphoric effects in a legal product. Many people have chosen to use delta-8 for it’s medical effects; such as, relaxation, better sleep, increased appetite, stress relief, or in place of their daily glass of wine. Even though the effects of delta-8 have a lower psychoactive potency than it’s relative delta-9 THC, it can be just as effective for it’s medical benefits. According to the National Cancer Institute D8 exhibits similar anti-emetic, anxiolytic, appetite-stimulating, analgesic, and neuro-protective properties.
There are many ways to consume Delta-8; including vapes, infused flower, edibles (oils, gummies, cookies, cakes), and topicals (salves, lotions, oils). One of the most popular is vaping (estimated to be 50%-70% of the market), because it’s very quick acting & convenient to administer. Another D8 product is edibles, such as D8 infused gummies (usually marketed as D8 infused). Edibles take longer to have an effect, but the effect can last longer overall. The smallest market portion is Delta-8 infused hemp flower. For those who want the traditional feeling of smoking cannabis without the stress of committing a crime.
For many people Delta8 is a great tool in their arsenal or safe and healthy self medication. Whether they are using it for simple stress relief, for better sleep or appetite, or just as a alternative to black market marijuana; it’s showing some great results for many.
As a side note, I would like to add that purchasing D8 vapes and other products at gas stations and other retail locations can be dangerous. There are many counterfeit products on retail shelves that contain harmful pesticides, chemicals, synthetic cannabinoids (spice), illegal levels of delta-9 THC, or additives that can be very dangerous.
Please google search all products and look for signs of counterfeit; these signs may include minor changes to packaging, wrong batch or testing numbers, no links or QR codes to testing specs for each batch. Many legitimate cannabis companies have detailed websites that give information on counterfeits and how to confirm the product in question is real, they also always have info on batch testing specs per many state regulations.
Below is a great video by Vice News that details some good advice on distinguishing real from counterfeit vape products. The video is focused on recreational and medical cannabis, even though the advice can be used for hemp based products as well, since they are all in the cannabis industry.