Although only a few years old, the cannabis industry is projected to be worth $90.4 billion by 2026.
Marijuana is now being used for medicinal and recreational purposes. Demand for products like CBD has skyrocketed and it’s being found in pharmacies and grocery stores across the country.
Public opinion is shifting on cannabis and more people are willing to try new products.
In this article, we’re going to discuss the difference between Delta-8 THC vs CBD. Both are very popular cannabis items. Keep reading below to learn more about THC, how Delta-8 is different, and tips for safely using it on your own.
What Is THC & Where Does It Come From?
If you’re new to cannabis products you may have heard about THC. This is an acronym standing for tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the chemical compound responsible for marijuana’s psychoactive reaction.
There are three types of cannabis plants: Sativa, Indica, and Ruderalis. Each plant contains over one hundred chemical compounds known as cannabinoids. THC is just one of these cannabinoids, but it’s more commonly known among the general public.
For years THC was illegal but laws and public opinions are changing. Marijuana is legal for recreational use in some states, and in others, you can get it with a prescription.
Certain types of CBD, which we’ll discuss below, typically contain trace amounts of THC as well.
THC releases dopamine in the brain, which causes a feeling of euphoria. It’s also been shown to interact with the brain’s hippocampus. This area is associated with the forming of new memories.
Everyone reacts differently to THC, but in general, it causes a person to feel high for a few hours. It also inhibits a person’s ability to drive or operate machinery. In severe cases, it can cause hallucinations or delusions.
Over the last decade, researchers have been learning about the medicinal benefits of THC. It’s used in an FDA-approved drug called Dronabinol. This medicine is used to help cancer patients or people with AIDS. It treats nausea, vomiting, and increases appetite.
The type of THC we’re discussing in this section is known as Delta-9 THC. It’s the traditional kind extracted from a cannabis plant. But, as you’ll learn below, there are other options for people wanting to take this cannabinoid.
What Is Delta-8 THC?
Above we broke down the meaning of traditional Delta-9 THC but researchers have introduced Delta-8 THC.
The molecular structure of these two cannabinoids is nearly identical, except for the ninth carbon. As a result, Delta-8 has a reduced potency than its natural counterpart. It’s favored by users who experience anxiety or paranoia when taking regular THC.
Patients who have taken Delta-8 report that the high is smoother and milder. It’s also less sedative than Delta-9.
The main benefit of Delta-8 is that it allows people to take advantage of the medicinal benefits of THC without the psychoactive effects.
Delta-8 became legal to sell after the 2010 U.S. Farm Bill, the same legislation that paved the way for CBD use to skyrocket across the country. This manufactured cannabinoid is now available in cartridges, gummies, tinctures, and concentrates.
More research is being done on compounds like CBD or THC to unlock more health benefits. In the meantime, the government is also reviewing and revising regulations behind cannabis products. It’s important to stay on top of the changing landscape.
What is CBD?
Did you know that 1 in 7 Americans are now taking CBD? It’s also a cannabinoid that was legalized in 2008. CBD is more accessible to use for medical conditions than marijuana.
CBD stands for Cannabidiol and is available in three forms: Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum, and Isolate.
Full-Spectrum CBD contains the most compounds from the cannabis plant, including less than 0.3% THC. This is a requirement under federal law. A marijuana joint, for example, can contain anywhere from 10-20% THC.
People who don’t want any THC can choose Broad-Spectrum (which has more compounds but not THC) or Isolate (when everything is stripped except for CBD).
Most Americans use CBD to help with pain, insomnia, and anxiety. More research needs to be done on CBD. It’s currently not approved by the FDA for medical purposes. But, in one case, the FDA used it as an active ingredient in a seizure medication for children.
Even though Full-Spectrum CBD contains THC, it doesn’t get users high. It’s included in this type of CBD because of a phenomenon known as the “entourage effect.” By keeping the THC in the product, users claim it enhances the overall effects of the other cannabinoids. In simple terms, they work better together.
CBD is much easier to purchase than Delta-8. It’s available online, through CBD companies, or at major retailers nationwide. People can get CBD in a variety of forms, including oils, salves, balms, edibles, vapes, and capsules.
Many pet owners are now giving small doses of CBD to their animals to help with anxiety.
The Main Differences Between Delta-8 THC and CBD
Now that you understand CBD and Delta-8 products, let’s take a deeper dive into the differences between them. It’s important to know that both of these products are fantastic alternatives to medical marijuana or Delta-9 THC.
Some people want the health benefits but not the potential for a negative experience.
Cannabis products are all relatively new. They’ve only been legally on the market since 2018, but Delta-8 is still considered “newer” than CBD.
As we explained above, CBD can be purchased without any traces of THC (Broad-Spectrum and Isolate) In this case, a user would never have to worry about THC complications.
But, don’t forget some people buy Full-Spectrum (with less than 0.3% THC).
Both of these products interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system. More specifically, they bind with the CB1 and CB2 receptors. These receptors are associated with the nervous and immune systems. This is how cannabis can aid with pain or anxiety.
While THC binds with the CB1 receptor (nervous system), CBD interacts with both CB1 and CB2 (immune system).
Do you remember when we mentioned the “entourage effect” above? It turns out that Delta-8 can also be combined with CBD to enhance its effects. Depending on what you need, these two products can be taken together.
How Safe is Delta-8?
One of the first questions we get is whether Delta-8 is safe? It’s one of the newer choices on the cannabis market but more research needs to be done on all products.
Don’t forget that these compounds were illegal until 2018. Before that point, not much research was being done on cannabis. There have only been 200 peer-reviewed THC papers since the 1970s.
Delta-8 THC users point out that it’s a mild alternative to Delta-9. They call it “weed light.” While this is true, little is known about the long-term effects of taking the compound.
Here are the common side effects of THC:
- Increased heart rate
- Coordination problems
- Dry mouth
- Red eyes
- Slower reaction time
- Memory loss
Experiencing side effects or overdosing on THC won’t have serious consequences, but in some cases, users have reported cognitive issues or mood changes.
While Delta-8 may cause some of these side effects, it’s generally safer and milder for people to use.
If you are planning to take Delta-8 in the near future, start with a very low dose to see how it reacts in your body. When ready you can gradually increase the amount.
Is It Legal for Me To Buy Delta-8 THC?
Delta-8 is currently legal to buy and use. But, it’s important to know what’s going on in the cannabis market. Laws and regulations are changing fast.
The sale of Delta-8 is a loophole in the U.S. Farm Bill. This law stated that cannabis products can’t contain more than 0.3% of Delta-9 THC. But, Delta-8 is a different compound derived from hemp.
It’s currently legal but that status could be changed if new legislation is presented to address the loophole.
Hemp and marijuana both come from the same plant. The difference is how they’re labeled in terms of THC content.
Many entrepreneurs are now taking advantage of the law as written and developing different products to fill the demand for Delta-8. It’s currently one of the fastest-growing parts of the cannabis industry.
What further complicates the legality of Delta-8 and Delta-9 is that every state is different. There are currently 36 states where medical marijuana is available and 14 states where residents can use it recreationally.
On top of that, states enforce cannabis regulations in different ways. This makes for a patchwork of rules that can be confusing to cannabis users.
Whether you start taking Hemp Oil, CBD, or Delta-8, make sure you are monitoring relevant laws and regulations to ensure you are in compliance.
No one wants to get in legal trouble over something they’re taking for their health.
Should I Worry About Failing a Drug Test?
Many cannabis users buy Broad-Spectrum or Isolate CBD to avoid a positive drug test. These two strains of CBD contain no THC.
There have been some reports that taking high levels of Full-Spectrum CBD has triggered drug tests, but for the most part, it’s not something you need to worry about.
Should you take Delta-8 THC if you get regularly tested at work? The answer is no!
Even though Delta-8 was modified to be different from Delta-9, it still contains the chemicals that can show up on a drug test.
Drug tests used by employers or law enforcement are not very sophisticated. Small molecules called THC metabolites remain in your body even after the THC has been processed.
These tests will only indicate the presence of THC metabolites. They don’t measure how much is in your system. And it doesn’t matter if you’ve taken Delta-8, 11-Hydroxy THC, or Delta-9. All three will show up positive.
If you’re about to take a drug test, it’s suggested you stop using cannabis products for 3-4 weeks before the test. Some people can need more time to process all of the metabolites out of their system.
It’s also important to note that tests can be done with samples of saliva, urine, or hair. Some tests will detect THC longer than others. You can buy a drug test over-the-counter ahead of time to see whether the metabolites are still in your system.
Tips on Where To Buy Good Delta-8 THC
Are you ready to buy some Delta-8 THC? Read this article for the five things to consider before you begin taking it:
- Be prepared for Delta-8 to feel different than other cannabis products
- CBD users should know that Delta-8 is a big step up, even though it’s milder than Delta-9
- Don’t be discouraged if you don’t feel the effects the first time
- Start off by taking oil tinctures of Delta-8
- Take Delta-8 in a safe space
Most importantly, always start by taking a low dose and see how it reacts in your body. If everything is fine and you feel up to it, you can begin increasing your dose. But, do it slowly.
Everyone reacts to THC differently so you’ll want to find the sweet spot.
We also want to provide you with some tips on buying quality Delta-8:
- Check that the color is rose, yellow, or champagne (darker Delta-8 could be low quality)
- Only purchase high potency Delta-8 that underwent an isomerization procedure
- Ask for independent lab tests done on the product to see a breakdown of ingredients and potency
Conduct some research before you start shopping and ask plenty of questions.
Are You Ready To Try Delta-8?
After reading this blog you should be an expert on Delta-8 THC. This new cannabis product is a mild alternative to traditional THC, but it’s important for you to know how it’s made, whether it’s safe, and if it stays legal into the future.
Buy a quality Delta-8 product and make sure you start with a low dose. Don’t take more unless you know your system can handle it. Make sure you’re being safe.
Do you want to read more health-related articles? Check out the rest of our site for tips on buying affordable medicine, natural pain relief, and nutrition.