What Is Delta 8 THC: Legal Way to Get High in 2023
Have you seen this? Have you heard about this? Delta 8 THC is widely available and can get you intoxicated—and it’s legal(ish)! But just what is Delta 8 THC, and where can you get it?
We’re glad you asked, and you’re going to learn everything about it in the next (give or take) ten minutes.
Let’s get right into it.
Will Delta 8 THC Get You High?
The first question on your mind when you hear about a new cannabinoid is about its effects. So let’s get it cleared up from the get-go:
Yes, Delta 8 will get you high.
But, before you rush off to type “Delta 8 near me” into the nearest browser, read on because there’s more to know.
It’s a much more mellow high than you’d get from traditional THC. Most people experience many of the same effects, just more subdued. It also typically doesn’t have the drowsy comedown associated with some strains.
If you fall into the category of people who can sometimes get paranoid or over-anxious when partaking or medicating, the Delta 8 THC feeling may be an excellent option. And, it goes without saying that it’s an excellent way to avoid run-ins with the law under some circumstances (more on that later).
Where Does Delta 8 Come From?
It’s worth clearing up the source of Delta 8-THC is mostly hemp. More specifically, CBD from hemp plants. It has also been made from Delta 9 THC, but that places it into even murkier legal waters than it already is.
Delta 8 Vs Delta 9 In a Nutshell
In the sections above, we made a few comparisons between Delta 8 and the more familiar Delta 9 THC. To clear things up a bit more, let’s put on our lab coats and take a walk through the cannabinoid garden.
Let’s start with what you likely know:
THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol. It’s one of over 100 cannabinoids commonly found in cannabis plants. For the most part, when we talk about THC, we’re using it as a shorthand for Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol. It’s the stuff in marijuana that gets us high, to put it bluntly.
Delta 8 is a similar cannabinoid that hasn’t attracted much attention until recently. Although it has many of the same effects as Delta 9, Delta 8 is less potent. In other words, it was overshadowed by its stronger cousin.
That is… until some mad scientists in the hemp industry devised a process to extract hemp derived Delta 8 from hemp reliably. As soon as that process was commercially viable, Delta 8 became the darling of our community as a safe and semi-legal alternative to cannabis.
There isn’t much research comparing Delta 8 with Delta 9 just yet, so there’s only speculation about why it’s less potent and what dosages should get you where you want to be. However, it’s safe to say that many fine researchers are hard at work trying to figure that out.
Delta 8 THC Effects
OK, lab coats off, and let’s do a more in-depth exploration of the effects D8 can have and what you can expect from it.
If you take a peek at the NIH records for Delta 8, you’ll see that there’s quite a bit of literature exploring its effects. Some of those include:
- Increased heart rate
- Mouth dryness
- Reddening of the eyes
- Feelings of relaxation
- Changes in perception
- Introspective states
That list probably looks awfully familiar if you’re ever experienced the intoxicating effects of THC.
There has also been some research into the potential medicinal uses of Delta 8. Unsurprisingly, there are many similarities to Delta 9 THC. Some of the Delta 8 benefits discovered include antiemetic properties, analgesic properties, and anxiolytic effects (reduces anxiety).
And if you’re wondering how Delta 8 compares to CBD, it’s pretty much the same as comparing it with the THC we all know and love. You can get some of the same relaxing and tranquilizing properties from CBD, but you probably know by now that CBD won’t get you high.
Is Delta 8 Cancer Treatment Promising?
As mentioned, the research into Delta 8 as an isolated compound is as abundant as it could be. In 1995, doctors examined its effects as an antiemetic in pediatric oncology.
Since it has reduced psychoactive effects, it seemed like a good substitute for Delta 9 THC in the same role. It worked like a charm in that small study involving children from 3 to 13 years old, and there’s reason to believe it would work the same way in adults.
Its other effects as an appetite stimulant and analgesic are also exciting for potential cancer applications.
What is Delta 8 THC possibly good for? Maybe the most promising use was to treat tumors. D8 given to mice over 20 days shrunk their tumors and increased their survival time considerably.
That doesn’t mean Delta 8 THC can cure cancer. But it’s a good sign that more research could reveal additional benefits.
Is Delta 8 THC Legal?
At last, we arrive at the million-dollar question.
Is this miracle compound legal? And the answer is: it’s complicated.
As far as the exact wording of the law goes, hemp-derived Delta 8 THC is federally legal. Supporting that claim is the wording from the 2018 Farm Bill, which has made hemp legal.
Since most of the Delta 8 THC products available on the market are all derived from hemp, it places them under that umbrella definition.
It’s settled then! Delta 8 is legal; we can all go home and enjoy it.
Well, not exactly.
Just because the federal law says it’s legal doesn’t mean states can’t individually regulate it. And boy, are they regulating it…
Twelve states have banned Delta 8 so far:
- Rhode Island
More states may follow suit quickly as word spreads about Delta 8 and the “loophole” it represents.
Delta 8 also remains legal in states where the federal definition of hemp and its derivatives was adopted.
Another unfortunate snag for Delta 8 is that the U.S. Hemp Authority doesn’t seem to care for it. The renowned organization decided not to certify Delta 8 products. The U.S. Hemp Authority doesn’t have any regulatory powers, but the certification would pave the way for more readily available Delta 8, not to mention one day getting approved by the FDA.
What is Delta 8 THC, but a cannabinoid produced from hemp? So, it should be 100% legal. But (and this is a big but), D8 metabolizes in much the same way as Delta 9 THC. This leads us to our next point.
Does Delta 8 Show Up on a Drug Test or Not?
Whether you use marijuana, D8, or any other significant source of THC, cannabinoid metabolites will end up in your urine. In other words:
Delta 8 will cause you to drop dirty.
Whether or not it’s legal may not matter in that case. And, even if it is, you can’t go back and prove that what caused you to test positive wasn’t an illegal source. Keep that in mind if you must test clean. There are some ways
How Long Does Delta 8 Stay in Your System?
We can talk about what to expect if drug testing is in your near future along the same vein. For the most part, the same rules apply that would for any other drug test.
To ensure no metabolites show up on your test, you have to stop using and Delta 8 products long enough for your body to excrete them all. A basic timeframe is about four weeks, but that can vary depending on your metabolism and how much you were consuming.
If you want to be absolutely sure you won’t test positive, the best bet is to get independently tested beforehand.
Where Is Delta 8 Available?
At this point, we don’t blame you if you want to get your hands on some Delta 8, and there’s good news about that. You can probably get it.
It’s available just about anywhere hemp-derived products are sold, except in states where it is explicitly illegal. You can find it at dispensaries for sure, but also head shops, gas stations, even online vape stores.
At this point, you can find Delta 8 in just about any product you’re used to buying. There are yummy and strong Delta 8 gummies, tinctures, Delta 8 disposable pens, vape carts, and you can even smoke it.
You heard that right, CBD flower fortified with Delta 8 THC is a popular presentation and available pre-rolled. To be clear, there’s no hemp “strain” that has more Delta 8 over the other. The process involves spraying Delta 8 concentrate on CBD flowers.
Bottom line—if you’re wondering where to buy Delta 8 THC, the answer is just about anywhere (for now).
Delta 8 THC Dosing
So far, we’ve managed to cover the basics of Delta 8. The only thing that’s left is to figure out how much you should take. And, keep in mind, a Delta 8 pen won’t have identical effects to edibles, which won’t have identical results to dabbing, etc.
We already hammered home the point about Delta 8 being significantly weaker than Delta 9 THC. So, if you’re a regular user, you can expect to need more Delta 8 to reach the same high.
Delta 8 THC reviews for most products agree that Delta 8 is approximately half as strong as Delta 9.
It’s important to point out that research into Delta 8 dosages isn’t exactly comprehensive. As always, safety first. Start small and increase the dosage progressively to ensure you’re getting the best experience.
Alright, let’s wrap up what we’ve learned.
Does Delta 8 THC get you high? You betcha. It’s not the same kind of high you may be used to, but it’ll get the job done.
It’s legal on a federal level due to technicality, but some states have banned it. Many think Delta 8 misuses the intent of the 2018 Farm Bill’s legalization of hemp, but until it’s amended, Delta 8 THC remains legal as a naturally occurring hemp derivative.
Does Delta 8 show up on a drug test? Also yes. It metabolizes the same way as Delta 9 and shows up just the same.
So if you’ve wanted to try it and you live in an area where it’s legal, what are you waiting for? Get it while it’s (not) hot!
Is Delta 8 federally legal?
Yes, Delta 8 is federally legal. It is banned in some states and could be banned in more soon, so check in periodically to determine the latest legal status in your area.
Additionally, you should remember that it exists in a hazy legal space. It’s arguably legal via a convenient loophole in the 2018 Farm Bill that could get patched up sooner rather than later.
What’s the difference between Delta 8 and Delta 9?
Here’s a list of all the major differences that matter:
- Delta 8 THC is less potent than Delta 9. Half as potent by some accounts.
- Delta 8 falls under the legal protection of the 2018 Farm Bill as of this writing, so it is federally legal.
- Most Delta 8 users report feeling a milder higher without the hazy comedown that’s associated with Delta 9 THC.
- If you’re into chemistry, Delta 8 has a double bond on the eighth carbon atom in its chain, whereas Delta 9 has a double bond on the ninth.
Is Delta 8 a synthetic cannabinoid?
No, Delta 8 is naturally occurring in cannabis plants (and, crucially, hemp plants). At least, the stuff you can legally buy is. It’s possible to generate it synthetically, but that’s not common practice.
This fact is important because the law regulating hemp specifically references synthetically-derived tetrahydrocannabinoids. Since Delta 8 isn’t synthetic, it’s in the clear.
What is stronger, Delta 9 or Delta 8?
Delta 9 is stronger than Delta 8, without question. It takes less Delta 9 to achieve an intoxicating effect than Delta 8 for the vast majority of people.
If you’re less interested in the question of what is Delta 8 THC and more about what it does, rest assured it can definitely get you high.
Some manufacturers assume Delta 9 is more than twice as potent as Delta 8 when designing their products.