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Did you know that support for the legalization of marijuana is higher than it’s been in the past five decades?
Sixty-eight percent of adults in the United States think that cannabis should be legal, and that includes people in all of the different political parties.
Yet, marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, despite more and more states legalizing it for both medicinal and recreational use.
What seems to be the biggest factor for marijuana legalization is its THC potency. Because marijuana has psychoactive effects, it’s been considered a Schedule I drug since 1970.
Now there are whispers of a new type of cannabis that is legal and contains THC: Delta-8 THC.
How can Delta-8 THC be legal, and how does it differ from other kinds of THC? Does it have the same benefits, and can you take it the same way?
This guide will answer all your questions and tell you everything you need to know about Delta-8 THC, so keep reading.
What Are Cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are the compounds that are found in the cannabis plant. They are what make cannabis different from other plants, what gives them their medicinal properties, and also what causes the controversy.
The two main types of cannabinoids are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which you’ve probably heard of.
THC is the compound that produces the psychoactive effects, whereas CBD does not have any psychoactive qualities.
They work by connecting to receptors in your brain and body. The C1 receptor is in your brain, which is what THC binds to.
When this happens, you can have a feeling of euphoria, or it can cause tiredness, or even spark creativity.
CBD binds to the C2 receptor, which is in your body. This can cause your body to relax, reduce inflammation, provide pain relief, and ease anxiety. It can also offset any negative effects that THC can cause, such as paranoia.
The main THC compound that is most commonly found in the cannabis plant is Delta-9 THC. This is the compound that has the most potency and the one that makes the plant federally illegal.
However, there is more than one type of THC compound, which is where Delta-8 THC comes in.
How Delta-8 THC Differs From Delta-9
Delta-9 is widely known and desired because of how strong it is. In states where marijuana is fully legal, Delta-9 is found in abundance in most cannabis strains.
So, where does Delta-8 fit in? The “8” in Delta-8 refers to the placement of chemical bonds. Its structure is very similar to Delta-9, with just one placement being different, but this affects how your brain and body respond to it.
It’s much rarer than Delta-9, being found in plants in only tiny amounts. However, breeders have learned how to derive it from either type of plant by using specific breeding, extraction, and processing methods.
Delta-8 does contain THC, but its psychoactive effects are much less intense than Delta-9. Delta-9 is thought to bind three times better to the C1 receptor in your brain than Delta-8.
This explains why it produces more intense effects and why there are also adverse effects that can occur with Delta-9.
One of the most unique factors of Delta-8 is how it binds to the receptors in your body. Unlike Delta-9, it connects to both the C1 and C2 receptors.
Because of this, your body and mind can feel relief at the same time. This can significantly help with anxiety and chronic pain.
Delta-8 vs CBD
Is Delta-8 a CBD variation? While both CBD and Delta-8 connect to the C2 receptor, Delta-8 THC strains are not considered variants of CBD.
This is because, while its psychoactive properties are less intense, they still exist. Not everyone may experience a “high” when using Delta-8, but some users will still feel those effects.
However, Delta-8 can provide the body pain relief in the same way that CBD does. Delta-8 is much rarer than CBD, which is why CBD is so much more available on the market than Delta-8 presently.
What Are Terpenes?
Terpenes are a huge part of the marijuana experience, though they are not cannabinoids and don’t contain any psychoactive properties.
Cannabis terpenes are aromatic oils that are secreted from the glands of the cannabis plant, similar to CBD and THC. They are what give cannabis its distinctive aromas and tastes.
Terpenes were established for a similar reason why other flowers have strong scents – to drive away predators and lure in pollinators. Because of this, terpenes are never the same.
There are many factors that alter the creation of terpenes, such as climate, age, weather, soil type, and fertilizers.
If you’ve ever smelled your cannabis buds and they were fruity, or earthy, or more skunk-like, that’s all thanks to the terpenes.
Like essential oils, terpenes may help with relaxation and stress relief. When combined with cannabinoids, their effects may change or increase in intensity.
They may become more effective in aiding certain ailments when combined with strains that have a high CBD content.
Benefits of Delta-8
Delta-8 is considered a happy medium between CBD, hemp, and Delta-9 THC. It has all the effects that Delta-9 and CBD have in a less severe package.
Delta-8 can cause relaxation, focus, and euphoria. It can increase your appetite, reduce nausea and inflammation, and decrease pain.
When combined with terpenes, it can give you energy or make you fall asleep quicker, similarly to Delta-9. When combined with the full cannabinoid profile, it can give you the full cannabis experience.
You may be thinking, why would I want to try something that is less effective than its counterpart?
While Delta-8 may be less intense than Delta-9, this also means that the negative effects are also decreased. There is less THC-induced paranoia, anxiety, and dizziness. You have much less of a chance of getting “too high.”
This also means that if you use marijuana medicinally, you’ll be able to incorporate it better into your daily routine because you won’t feel as much of the psychoactive effects.
While CBD is thought to be the go-to for daytime pain relief, there are studies that show that the combination of CBD and THC works best to reduce inflammation, especially in patients that have inflammatory disorders.
Delta-8 can be the solution to this problem, providing pain relief and allowing you to go about your day without feeling the overwhelming effects of Delta-9.
Uses of Delta-8
There are many other reasons to try Delta-8. If you are curious about Delta-9 and the effects it brings, and want to try it but are afraid it will be too intense, Delta-8 can be a great bridge.
While you will still feel the psychoactive effects, you don’t have to worry about it getting overwhelming.
It’s also very useful when using cannabis for social anxiety. While cannabis can relax you, Delta-9 can be a little bit much, especially in social settings.
Delta-8 gives you the perfect balance, providing all the good stuff without any of the bad.
While Delta-8 is much rarer than Delta-9, if you live in a particular state, you may only have access to Delta-8. This is due to its legal status.
The Legal Issues
As stated previously, cannabis is illegal at the federal level. Some states have made their own laws and legalized it, some have decriminalized it, and some only allow medicinal marijuana.
However, since 2018 when the Farm Bill was passed, part of the cannabis plant is legal. That part is hemp, which is used to make many different products, such as clothing and paper.
You’ve probably seen more hemp products in stores recently. Hemp is only legal if it contains less than 0.3 percent of Delta-9 THC.
Because Delta-8 THC is completely derived from hemp and contains less than 0.3 percent of THC, it is federally legal.
Some states have banned it at a state level anyways, which include: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, Rhode Island, and Utah.
However, in the other thirty-nine states, Delta-8 is legal. This means that you could legally buy and use it, even if your state hasn’t legalized marijuana at all yet.
So, though it is rarer than Delta-9, in some states, it’s the only access to marijuana that they have.
Forms of Delta-8 THC
Can you take Delta-8 in the same ways that you can take Delta-9? Yes, you can! There are so many different forms of Delta-8 THC. You are sure to be able to find one that suits you.
Here is a breakdown of the different ways to use Delta-8.
Tinctures are alcohol-based cannabis extracts. To create this, alcohol is infused with cannabis. The alcohol pulls out all of the active ingredients, such as the CBD or THC, and makes them into a liquid form.
Many people choose to take CBD this way because it’s simple and easy to find an accurate dosage. You can use it by putting a few drops under your tongue or adding it to your food or drink.
Edibles may be for you if you like the idea of consuming cannabis. Edibles can be in the form of candies, drinks, meals, and snacks.
Whatever you can put cannabis in and eat is an edible, and there is a vast selection to choose from.
The downfall is that consuming cannabis requires the cannabinoids to go through your digestive tract, which means you won’t feel the effects as quickly as the other forms.
Flower is the dry organic form of cannabis. This is the bud of the flower, containing all of those good cannabinoids and terpenes.
To use this, you smoke it in your medium of choice. There are glass bowls or pipes, bongs, joints, and blunts. You can also use a vaporizer, which produces vapor from the dried flower.
Vapes heat up cannabis oil through a vaporizing device, also known as vape pens or weed pens. You can find Delta-8 THC carts, also known as cartridges, which are pre-filled with the proper dosage of cannabis oil.
Often they’ll also include specific terpenes to give you a specific aroma and taste. This is one of the easiest and most discreet ways to use marijuana.
Dabs are concentrated doses of cannabis, also known as wax or shatter. Typically, dabs are heated up on a nail, using a specific torch, and inhaled through a dab rig.
It is one of the most effective ways to use cannabis, though it requires the right equipment, which you can easily find at 3Chi.
Topicals also exist in the forms of cannabis creams and lotions. This is more popular for hemp or CBD products, but Delta-8 topicals do also exist. This makes sense since it may have pain relief qualities.
To use it, you can apply creams or lotions on any area of your body that needs relief.
They also make bath bombs that you can use to soak in. Like consuming cannabis, it does take longer for you to fully feel the effects, but it’s also something that you can use daily.
Try Delta-8 THC Today
Do you feel like a Delta-8 THC expert? You should! You now know what Delta-8 is, what it’s not, where it’s legal, and how to take it.
Delta-8 has a lot to offer and shouldn’t be overlooked, especially since it’s the first THC product that is legal at the federal level. If you’re curious about Delta-9 and want to try it out, consider trying Delta-8 first.
Ease into the experience, and you’ll have a better understanding of what to expect.
Want more great cannabis-related content? Check out our blog for informative marijuana articles.