The Cannabis Connoisseur
What the Hell is Delta-8-THC?
By Anthony Ricciuto
Hey everyone I am proud to announce another new column here at Power Nutritionist. This will be a question-and-answer format relating to everything about cannabis. If it’s about strain selection, edibles, concentrates, medical cannabis along with holistic health, growing, vaping, and the latest of what’s going on in the 420 industry, this is the column just for you. I want to cover as many topics as possible to give you some insight into what your deepest darkest questions may be. So send them over and let’s get started.
Q: I have been hearing a lot of stuff lately about something called Delta-8- THC. What is this exactly? I know that regular THC is known as Delta-9- THC so what is this all about? Can you give me some insight into this? Is this legal in America?
A: Hey it’s good to hear from you. I know when it comes to the medical cannabis scene there are constant breakthroughs happening all the time. One thing is for sure is that this industry is forever evolving. So you want to know more about good old Delta-8-THC do ya? Well, you are not the only one wondering what this is exactly as it does have many confused. So I am here to clarify everything you asked plus much more.
Delta-8-THC is Hot!
The New Kid on the Block
Delta-8-THC is without a doubt the new kid on the block and it seems like everyone is talking about it. No matter if you live in a legal state or one that is still stuck in the 1980’s “War on Drugs” mentality, Delta-8-THC is all the rage. Delta-8-THC is an analog of Delta-9-THC. This means that they both have a similar chemical structure but yet have differences as well. They do have similarities that they both are known for. Both Delta-8 and Delta-9-THC will help alleviate pain both chronic and acute. They will both also help to quell nausea that so many cancer patients suffer from. Another common effect is the increase in appetite that both forms are known for. The biggest difference is that Delta-8-THC has a much lower psychotropic effect than its bigger brother Delta-9-THC. To make this simple to understand Delta-8-THC is basically a degraded form of Delta-9-THC. So when you have cannabis that has been sitting around for a long period of time it will breakdown. This breakdown or oxidation will turn into Delta-8-THC.
Delta-8-THC is All the Rage!
What Can you Expect?
So while they are both similar in nature, what can you expect from Delta-8-THC? While CBD has absolutely no psychoactive effects, Delta-8-THC can and will get you stoned if you have enough. The reason why I said ”enough” is the fact that it is much weaker in its potency. To make this very simple it’s like having a Coors Extra Gold and a Coors Light. You see that Coors Extra Gold packs a 5% alcohol content while that Coors Light comes in at 4.2%. This is the same for what the difference is above. You can get intoxicated off both forms of Coors mentioned above, but you will need more of the Coors Light to get the job done.
Delta-8-THC Has a Huge Following!
What most users of Delta-8- THC find is that you still get the euphoric effects of its older brother, but in a calmer fashion. Many people are sensitive to Delta-9-THC and find that it gets them paranoid and racy. This is not the case for Delta-8-THC. In fact, the National Cancer Institute has taken interest in Delta-8-THC lately. They equate it to the middle ground when comparing CBD to Delta-9-THC. So what this means is that if CBD is not getting the job done and you want something more, but at the same time Delta-9-THC is too intense, you still have another option. That option is Delta-8-THC.
So Why would you want to Try Delta-8-THC?
Now with all that I have said above, you might be wondering why you might want to give this new cannabinoid a try when Delta-9 is tried and true tested? Well first off for those that have tried medical cannabis but found it too harsh or got them edgy, Delta-8 might be just what you need to take advantage of THC without feeling overwhelmed. This rings true for those that may have tried Delta-9 to deal with issues like anxiety but found that instead of helping it, it may have increased it. If this is you then Delta-8 might be exactly that middle ground you have been looking for but until now haven’t been able to find an answer. For those of you in the scene, most connoisseurs want to try everything new that comes out just so they can say they tried such and such. It’s so true that everyone wants the newest and hottest fad. This way they can give their two cents on what they thought of it. In fact, many dispensaries are claiming that Delta-8-THC sales are going through the roof. They relate this to the fact that many people want something more potent than CBD but yet they find Delta-9- THC too potent for their medical needs. This is where Delta-8 shines and is filling a niche market that would not be consuming any THC products at all.
Medical Cannabis Patients are Loving Delta-8-THC!
Got to Love Loopholes!
But the biggest reason why most people will want to try it especially those that live in an “Illegal State” where heading over to your local legal dispensary is not an option, Delta 8 has fallen through the cracks. Now you might be wondering what I meant by that so listen up. Delta-8 currently has no federal scheduling on this cannabinoid. So this is why you will see everyone out trying to capitalize on it. In fact, it may still be several months until legislation is passed to make it illegal, so businessmen and conmen alike are trying to cash in on this grey area THC alternative.
CBD Isolate Overproduction in Full Effect!
If we look back to the early 2000’s it was the exact same thing with prohormones in the bodybuilding supplement industry. Hell, I remember back then because I am as old as dust. You had supplement companies selling these precursors and real actual anabolic steroids like Methyl-1 Testosterone (M1T), Superdrol which is basically an oral form of Masteron like they were nothing. I also remember many of these companies being very irresponsible just looking to make a quick buck and not properly educating people on the side effects both long and short term that could occur. Of course that all came to a screeching halt. Then the shenanigans continued when those first generations of so-called prohormones got banned then these same companies just did their research and found other items that were not on the DEA list yet and then started importing them and selling them as supplements. This continued for a bit longer until everything was cut off which has us where we are today. I think that this is what will happen with Delta-8 in the same manner. It will sell like hotcakes until the powers that be shut it down in the illegal states and then it will be only available in legal states.
The Delta-8-THC and DEA Showdown is Looming!
So Why Is There So Much Delta-8 Around?
So you might be wondering how the hell did so much Delta-8-THC get into the market so fast? Usually, these things take time to get popular, market it to the masses, and then produce enough for the demand. The reason why it is in such abundance is the fact that it can be converted directly in a laboratory from CBD. Now if anyone has followed the legal CBD market in America you know that the price of CBD has gone down dramatically over the last couple of years. In fact, it’s been reduced tenfold and that is no exaggeration. A kilogram of CBD Isolate used to go for $10,000 easily and now these same manufacturers are lucky to get $1,000. This has happened because so many farmers are growing industrial hemp now and jumping on the popularity of the CBD bandwagon which led to having way more CBD available than what was in demand. So what would be a better way to use all that industrial hemp? The creative minds in the industry decided to process it into CBD and then convert it into Delta-8-THC. From there they could sell as much of it as possible until time runs out before it becomes illegal. Sounds like a smart business idea for these CBD companies looking to take advantage of this loophole and make as much money as possible before the time is up and the DEA gets involved.
Turning CBD into Delta-8-THC is Magic!
Is This Too Good to Be True?
But as always there is the other side of the coin when it comes to the DEA as well. While many manufacturers are selling it thinking they are not breaking the law, this is where things get tricky. You see just when you think you figured things out, the good old DEA is always trying to stay one step ahead of you. You see, the people selling Delta-8-THC believe that under the 2018 Farm Bill that was passed, this would fall into it being legal or grey market at best. But the DEA may have a different point of view when it comes to this so let’s take a look. There is a law called the Federal Analogue Act. In layman’s terms, it states that when you have a compound or drug that is Schedule 1 and you have something that is similar in structure, then it makes that drug illegal as well. There are many lawyers that disagree with this DEA stance since the Farm Bill of 2018 excludes all “Tetrahydrocannabinols” found in industrial hemp exempt for being a Schedule 1 drug. So as you can see there is a lot of drama going on when it comes to cannabis once again and even derivatives from industrial hemp are also under siege.
Can the Farm Bill Stand Up to the DEA?
So What Does the Future Hold?
Well when it comes to cannabis and now even industrial hemp, the amount of red tape over this little plant seems to amaze me. The amount of political drama never seems to end. The reality is that Delta-8-THC has found a huge following that really likes all the medical benefits it has to offer. They push that they receive many of the benefits of THC without the side effects noted more with Delta-9-THC. This is a huge market for people that want THC’s healing benefits but may be too sensitive to some of its drawbacks. This makes Delta-8-THC perfect for these medical patients. So when it comes to the legal end of how Delta-8-THC is going to go we will all just have to wait and see what happens. When the DEA starts raiding dispensaries and online shops and they will sooner more than later, we will have to see how it all plays out in the courts. So as you can see, the cannabis soap opera of American politics never seems to end!