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What is Delta-8 THC and why is it suddenly so popular?  Delta-8 THC is a cannabis compound that has become popular because of its similarity to delta-9 THC. THC’s scientific name is delta-9-tetrahydrocannibinol, or delta-9 THC, or just delta-9. This is the main compound in cannabis that gives you that “high” feeling.  Delta-8 THC is short for delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol or delta-8.  The similarities between the two cannabinoids are in their chemical structures and their names. Delta-8 THC can cause similar effects to delta-9 THC, but they will not be as potent. “Delta-8, like delta-9 (regular THC), binds to the body’s endocannabinoid system, which causes you to feel high. Chemically, delta-8 and delta-9 are similar in that they both have a double bond in their structures. This double bond is thought to produce the intoxicating effects that make you feel high. The two THCs are chemically different in the placement of the double bond. Both cannabinoids have a chain of carbon atoms, but delta-8 has the double bond on the eighth carbon, whereas delta-9 has it on the ninth. Delta-8 binds to the endocannabinoid system in a slightly different fashion because of the location of it’s double bond. This is what is thought to make delta-8 much less potent than regular THC. However, more research needs to be done on delta-8 and how it interacts with the body” (Leafly).

Right now, the legality of delta-8 is still unclear. Delta-8 can be extracted from either hemp or cannabis. With the 2018 Farm Bill in place, hemp can legally be grown and used in the United States. This means that delta-8 is legal in states where delta-9 THC is illegal, sometimes. On today’s current market, nearly all of delta-8 THC that is manufactured from hemp-derived CBD, in theory, is part of a federally legal chain

Many consumers ask, “Will delta-8 still get me high?” and the answer is yes. Delta-8 has the same effects of delta-9 THC just less potent causing mild euphoria, happiness and relief from some pain symptoms. Delta-8 still has side effects similar to THC such as dry mouth, red eyes, increased hunger, anxiety or paranoia. As of now there is not much research on delta-8 to determine the effects on body and mind.

With delta-8 being a new market it could be a little more challenging to find quality products.  When shopping around, check the QR code or batch number located on the box that allows you to look up the results on the producers website. Always stay away from products that are not tested or have questionable test results, as these products could contain harmful ingredients.

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