What to know about delta -8 THC, also known as "diet weed" or "marijuana-lite." Delta-8 versus CBD have quite a large contrast as they are both from the cannabis plant however have different effects on the consumer of the product. Read our newest blog post to find out more.
Delta-8, AKA ‘Diet Weed’: Nicer and Kinder — or Unsafe?
Jan. 31, 2022 — This past October, Chris Habitz, the owner of Your CBD Store in Burbank, CA, began getting more requests from customers for CBD products with delta -8 THC, also known as “diet weed” or “marijuana-lite.”
Many were seniors, he says, asking for the products to soothe pain and avoid opioids, as well as to avoid the high” from using marijuana.
Citing the potential for addiction to prescription painkillers, Habitz says, “a lot them are scared.”
Others asked for the delta-8 products to soothe anxiety during the pandemic. So, Habitz ordered three times as many of the delta-8 products as usual — and sold them. The demand has remained. And, he says, “it hasn’t peaked.”
On the other side of the country, Bison Botanics in Buffalo, NY, which sells a range of CBD products, began seeing high demand for delta-8 products at the start of 2021, says Sean Connors, Bison’s vice president. “By the end of 2021, it was 65% of sales,” he says.
Delta-8 THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is one of more than 100 compounds, or cannabinoids, found in the Cannabis sativa plant. Delta-8 is found in marijuana and in hemp-derived CBD, but in trace amounts, much lower than the levels of delta-9 THC found in marijuana that produces the “high.”
Delta-8 THC products, sold in vape pen cartridges and as oils, gummies, candies, and other edibles, are widely available at CBD stores, convenience stores, gas stations, dispensaries, and online. Besides pain and anxiety relief, promoters say it can boost appetite, help you sleep better, combat nausea and vomiting, and help with relaxation.
It’s difficult to pinpoint nationwide sales figures, with many companies not reporting publicly, says Adam Koh, editorial director of Cannabis Benchmarks & Hemp Benchmarks, which provides industry data.
“I think it’s safe to say that sales of delta-8 THC and similar products in the U.S. likely generated several hundred million dollars in 2021. These products began to emerge around summer 2020, and I believe sales were substantially smaller that year.”
Online searches for delta-8 THC rose dramatically from 2019 to 2020, say researchers from the University of California, San Diego, who reported that interest was especially high in U.S. states that restricted delta-9 THC use.
Is It Legal, or Is There a Loophole?
No one debates delta-8 THC’s popularity. But is it legal? As sales have risen, so have debates about its legality.
The boom in delta-8 products began shortly after the passage of the Farm Bill, also known as the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. This act removed hemp and its byproducts (but not cannabis) from the federal list of Schedule I controlled substances. It legalizes the production and sale of CBD products as long as they have less than 0.3% of THC. Many advocates of delta-8 CBD products point out that the Farm Bill fails to mention delta-8, so the products are on legal firm ground. Not everyone agrees.
“People read that Farm Bill and said, ‘Wait, delta-8 and delta-10 [another cannabinoid] are not mentioned,'” says researcher Shanna Babalonis, PhD, an assistant professor of behavioral science at the University of Kentucky. “Let’s start marketing that stuff.”
Here’s the problem, says Paul Armentano, deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML: The Farm Bill language does make a legal distinction between “naturally occurring constituents” and “synthetically derived” ones. He points to how the Drug Enforcement Administration defined the issue in the Farm Bill in 2020.
Under that explanation, “if you extract cannabinoids present in the industrial hemp plant, products from those are legal under the Farm Bill,” he says.
If delta-8 were simply extracted, fine. But “that is not what these [delta-8] products are.”
The natural amount of delta-8-THC in hemp is low, but concentrated amounts can be created from CBD in a lab. Large quantities of delta-8 THC “are being chemically synthesized from excess CBD that has been derived from hemp plants,” Babalonis says.
And all synthetic tetrahydrocannabinols are still Schedule I controlled substances, just as marijuana is, according to language in the Farm Bill, Armentano says. The Farm Bill also specifies that hemp can’t contain more than 0.3% of THC, and observers say many delta-8 products contain higher levels, making the products intoxicating.
Delta-8: Nicer and Milder, or Potentially Hazardous?
While some debate whether delta-8 THC is legal, researchers say it has been called “delta-9’s younger, nicer sibling.” That’s what one respondent told researchers Jessica Kruger, PhD, a clinical assistant professor of community health and health behavior at the University at Buffalo, and Daniel J. Kruger, PhD, an investigator at the Population Studies Center at the University of Michigan.
After the husband-wife research team polled more than 500 people from 38 states and asked them to compare delta-8 to cannabis, they concluded that delta-8 appears to have positive qualities and may be a way to reduce harm and negative reactions, compared to marijuana. Respondents said delta-8 THC had all the benefits of cannabis and fewer bad effects.
In their study, 71% of the users reported “a lot or a great deal” of relaxation, and 68% said they’d had euphoria. More than half got relief from pain. But they also reported some of the same unwanted effects with delta-8 as with marijuana, with 81% having moderate to “a lot of” skewed thinking, such as a hard time concentrating. But 74% said they did not have anxiety, and 83% said they didn’t have paranoia, which can occur with marijuana use.
“Delta-8 seems to have a better profile than delta-9,” Daniel Kruger says. But, also, he says, states are loosening up on delta-9, and some are tightening up on delta-8. Their data suggests that’s backward, he says.
Delta-8’s Dark Side
In 2021, the FDA issued a consumer update, warning that delta-8 THC has serious health risks. Reports from December 2020 through July 2021 involved 22 people, some of whom reported vomiting, hallucinations, trouble standing, and passing out after consuming delta-8 THC products.
In September 2021, the CDC issued an alert about delta-8 and possible adverse events. In the first half of 2021, the National Poison Data System recorded 660 exposures to delta-8 (and added another from late 2020), with 18%, or 119, requiring hospitalization and 39%, or 258, affecting children. It also warned that the products may not be tested well for contaminants like heavy metals and pesticides.
Mislabeling is also an issue. In an independent analysis of 51 products, by CBD Oracle, a cannabis consumer research company, 77% had less delta-8 THC than advertised and three-quarters of the products had higher THC levels than permitted by federal law.
The problems come back to a lack of regulation, Babalonis says. The products are sold without adequate warning labels, and they are widely available.
“Online, you can get a package of gummy bears, with beautiful packaging,” she says, with no mention that it’s a drug. Delta-8 is especially hazardous for children, she says, and as dangerous as delta-9.
“For children [who get into delta-8 products], they sometimes need to be intubated because they have ingested so much,” Babalonis says. “Because they are not going to eat just one gummy bear, right?”
Companies’ Safety Efforts
Safety efforts, including efforts to avoid contamination, are ongoing, company representatives say. The website of Your CBD Store, which includes nearly 500 stores nationwide, includes lab reports, and the company walks viewers through how to read them. It posts warnings cautioning that the products may result in a positive drug test.
It also says its delta-8 extract is “100 percent naturally derived from hemp and does not contain more than 0.3 percent delta-9 THC.”
At Bison Botanics, products are sent to an independent lab for testing, Connors says. On its website, the company also says people have different sensitivities to different cannabinoids, especially THC. Even though the amounts are low, it warns that everyone handles these substances differently.
Concerns about safety have triggered state actions, with legislators debating whether to prohibit delta-8 or regulate it. As of late December, 14 states have made delta-8 illegal, according to an industry website. It’s legal in 30 other states, while it’s regulated the same as recreational cannabis in Connecticut and Michigan.
Moves to ban delta-8 are driven by fear, not science, Jessica Kruger says. More research is needed, she and others say. “Our study shows this may actually be a safer way to use cannabis.”
The U.S. Hemp Roundtable, an industry group, is not calling for a strict ban on delta-8 products, but it has taken a strong stance against the intoxicating forms of delta-8 — the ones that are over the approved 0.3 limit.
“From early last year, our position has been that intoxicating products should be treated akin to adult-use cannabis,” says Jonathan S. Miller, the group’s general counsel.
The Krugers favor universal product testing and more regulation.
Currently, “you can go to the gas station and get [these products], which is terrifying,” Jessica Kruger says. Ideally, Daniel Kruger says, he hopes for de-scheduling cannabis on a federal level, along with more regulation.
“Education is key,” Jessica Kruger says, especially for protecting vulnerable populations such as children and pregnant women.
CBD Oil Vs Delta 8
Posted by Serene Tree Staff on Sep 14th 2020
Delta-8 THC Vs. CBD: What’s the Difference?
Delta 8 THC VS. CBD
The cannabis industry has grown immensely since its start and more people have become aware of what THC and CBD is. If you’re an avid consumer, you probably know about Delta 9 THC, which is more commonly known as THC. But have you heard about Delta 8 THC?
While most people have heard about the main types of cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, there is another upcoming compound in cannabis products, Delta 8 THC. Just like Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) it’s a cannabinoid, but what are the similarities and differences? Delta 8 THC products can be found here.
Similarities Between THC/CBD/Delta 8 THC
Like THC and CBD, Delta 8 THC is a cannabinoid. But Delta 8 is produced by creating an isolate of Delta 9, known as THC. While both THC and Delta 8 THC are very similar, Delta 8 uses a man made process to be created. However, it’s far from being similar to CBD. THC and Delta 8 both have psychoactive properties while CBD does not. CBD is the main compound found in Hemp which has very little psychoactive compounds in it.
What is Delta 8 THC?
Now that we’ve covered the similarities how can Delta 8 THC be different from its cousins, THC and CBD. First, let’s find out what Delta 8 is.
Delta 8 is a cannabinoid which does naturally exist in cannabis plants, however it shows up in very small concentrations. More often, Delta 8 THC is man made from using Delta 9 THC in a process called isolation. While both share similar structures and related stimulating effects, Delta 8 is more stable than Delta 9 THC. In turn, Delta 8 has a lower psychoactive effect than the more common THC does. Delta 8 has also been studied for a more stable way of aiding illness in many forms.
How THC/CBD/Delta 8 Differ
As for CBD, Delta 8 is a new upcoming compound that has not been studied as thoroughly as CBD has. Chemical differences between the two are major compared to the differences between THC and Delta 8. CBD does not contain psychoactive properties and therefore is used widely for people who don’t want the feeling of being “high.” Which is why CBD is used for many instances of health issues and is known for its benefits. But, this doesn’t mean that Delta 8 can’t have benefits as well. Like THC, Delta 8 does show potential for aid in insomnia, anxiety, lack of appetite, and depression.
While THC and Delta 8 are very similar, they do have a few main differences. Obviously, they are different compounds, but that doesn’t mean they cause a different response in the endocannabinoid system. But, because Delta 9 THC combines on the ninth carbon chain and Delta 8 THC combines on the eighth carbon chain, there is a discernible difference in how it interacts with our body’s endocannabinoid receptors. With its change in molecular structure, it appears to be less potent and more appealing than the more unstable Delta 9 THC. Because of this, Delta 8 can be used to treat a wider range of cancer patients, such as those who won’t use Delta 9 THC because of the anxiety feeling they receive when they take it.
Can Delta 8 and CBD Be Combined?
Delta 8 already has a less severe psychoactive effect than Delta 9 THC does. But, Just like Delta 9 THC can be combined with CBD for a less psychoactive effect, Delta 8 and CBD will have the benefits of both cannabinoids with little to no high. This is because the CBD compound will interact with the same receptors as the THC compound, negating the activation of the receptor. This will still allow Delta 8 to introduce its benefits to your body while CBD will reduce the effects of the psychoactive properties of THC, while also bringing in its own benefits.
Which Cannabinoid is Right for You?
Depending on the type of person you are, you may or may not like the effects of some cannabinoids. Depending on what you are looking for in the product you are consuming, each one can be vastly different. Here is what most consumers of CBD and THC look for in each product.
CBD: If you are someone who wants non-psychoactive products with the benefits of aiding in your appetite, hunger etc. CBD is the choice. CBD doesn’t have any psychoactive effects and comes in many forms. You can consume CBD through tinctures, edibles, vapes and more. Its benefits are widely known to be useful to those with anxiety, depression and PTSD. It’s marketed to aid in sleep, as well as in lack of appetite, giving you those midnight munchies. And without the high, most people prefer it if the effect of THC makes them uneasy in any way.
Delta 8 THC: Delta 8 THC is for those who still want the high, unlike CBD. However, it’s known that Delta 8 has a lower psychoactive effect than Delta 9 THC. Which can be appealing to those who like the high, but don’t want to be “out-of-their-mind high.” And just like CBD, it has its benefits if you’re seeking after that as well. It is known to create relaxation, clear-headedness and of course, hunger. Research has shown it helps reduce stress. Stimulate an appetite, and lessen nausea. But just like Delta 9 THC, it can also be combined with CBD for a further diminished psychoactive effect.
Delta 9 THC: Although very similar to Delta 8 THC, Delta 9 THC is for those who want the maximum high they can receive and don’t feel afflicted by the effects of psychoactive products. It is also known that Delta 8 has an increased concentration of benefits, such as a larger appetite stimulation. However, Delta 9 THC still has its benefits, especially for cancer patients. It’s used in various ways, but for those who use Delta 9 THC for medical reasons, use it for pain relief, nausea control, and increased appetite. But for some, the psychoactive properties can have negative effects and cause anxiety or unease. This does not occur in everyone, but this has deterred people from consuming Delta 9 THC products. On the other hand, it can also be used with CBD to decrease the high and still allow you to reap the benefits.
CBD and the more common Delta 9 THC has a respectable name in the cannabis industry. While Delta 8 THC, although hyped up, is less credible than its more popular counterparts. However, with the information given to you, do you think that Delta-8 THC is the right choice for you?
Want to Find out More about Delta-8 THC? Check Out our New YouTube video!