Whether you are a frequent user of cannabis or are just curious to know more about it, you have probably heard about this relatively new tetrahydrocannabinol or THC compound that has been causing quite the stir in the weed-o-sphere lately—Delta-8 THC or “THC Lite” as others like to call it.
We say it’s relatively new because Delta-8 THC isn’t an entirely new discovery. There are studies dating back as early as the ’60s that mention Delta-8 THC in cannabis plants. But for as long as we can remember, it was always Delta-9 THC that stood at the center of the spotlight.
So what’s so special about Delta-8, and why is it causing such hype in the cannabis world all of a sudden? Well, there are quite a few reasons people believe Delta-8 might be stealing the limelight from Delta-9 pretty soon. We’ll discuss them all in this article.
Before we proceed any further, we’re guessing that by the end of this article, you’ll be looking for a Delta-8 product to try. So to make things a bit easier for you, we’ve already gathered a list of brands and ranked them according to various reviews.
Here are the top 10 Delta-8 brands worth shopping with:
- Everest (#1 Pick)
- Diamond CBD
- Delta Effex
What is Delta-8 THC?
If you are not yet familiar with Delta-8 THC, here is a short background. It is a psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant along with hundreds of other cannabinoids. Delta-8 THC is a minor cannabinoid. Only 0.01% of the cannabis plant is composed of Delta-8 THC, which is the main reason why Delta-8 went under our radar until now.
But now researchers have discovered the potential of Delta-8 as a safer alternative for Delta-9. What’s even greater is that they have also found an efficient way to extract and isolate it. In turn, it is easier than ever to produce products with higher percentages of Delta-8 THC.
It is done by treating CBD or deriving it directly from Delta-9 with the use of solvents. It is said to provide certain benefits and effects that are similar to Delta-9 THC—but legally, and without many of the side effects people dislike regarding delta 9.
How is Delta-8 THC different from Delta-9 THC?
It all lies in the chemical structure of the two cannabinoids. Delta-8 THC is an isomer of Delta-9 THC. They both share the same chemical properties and an almost identical chemical structure. However, there is a tiny difference in where the double bonds are placed in their molecular chains.
This difference in their molecular chains is actually where the two cannabinoids get their names. The Delta-9 cannabinoid has a double bond found on its carbon atom’s 9th chain. Conversely, the Delta-8 cannabinoid has a double bond on the 8th chain. It’s the difference in the placement of these double bonds that make the potency of Delta-8 different from Delta-9.
Delta-8 THC is said to be about two-thirds the potency of Delta-9. This may sound like a bad thing, but it isn’t. Most people actually prefer Delta-8 because of its lower potency. This helps users avoid the intense mind-altering effects caused by the strong potency of Delta-9 THC. We know that sometimes, these can get overwhelming and overpowering for users.
But does Delta-8 get you high?
One of the most frequently asked questions about Delta-8 is whether it can get you high or not. Delta-8 is also tetrahydrocannabinol like Delta-9. They are both psychoactive, so even if it does have a lower potency than Delta-9 it can still get you high.
The science behind getting high
Our bodies have what we call endogenous cannabinoids or endocannabinoids. These are a network of cells naturally found in our bodies that help regulate other systems in our bodies. In the endocannabinoid system, you will find two receptors: the CB1 and CB2 receptors. These two receptors are in charge of different parts of the endocannabinoid system.
The CB1 receptor is known to affect our sleeping patterns, mood stability, eating habits, and our pain tolerance. On the other hand, the CB2 receptors can help get rid of inflammation.
THC in particular is known to work well with our CB1 receptors 1. When we ingest or smoke THC, it latches on and activates our CB1 receptors, flooding them entirely.
This is what causes that euphoric feeling when we’re dosing marijuana. It is also the reason why we feel tired, happy, or hungry when we’re high. The THC is activating our CB1 receptors which are responsible for our sleep, mood, and appetite.
Is there any difference between the Delta-8 and Delta-9 high?
Due to the differences in potency, the “highs” that each cannabinoid gives you are certainly different. Here’s the kind of high you can expect from each of the two cannabinoids:
The Delta-8 High
The kind of high Delta-8 THC gives is definitely not as extreme as a Delta-9 high. You would probably expect Delta-8 to get you high instantaneously. But the effects of Delta-8 tend to build their way up to your system slowly and gradually instead of forcefully like Delta-9.
Delta-8 is meant to put you in a more mellow and relaxed state of mind. It’s a little bit sedating but not to the point that you can’t get off the couch. With Delta-8 you can still do your normal everyday tasks and you won’t have to worry about mental fog or not being able to think and function properly.
The Delta-8 high is also more prolonged, so if you feel like you’re about to have a stressful day, this is definitely a great option to help take a load off your back. It’s usually used for stress relief, increasing productivity, heightening feelings of contentment, forming clearer thoughts, and improving your outlook on life.
Delta-9 THC became famous for its strong psychedelic and hallucinatory effects. It’s the type of marijuana that is known to get a person high in an instant. Users who have built a tolerance for THC usually prefer the kind of high that Delta-9 gives.
But for newbies, the potency of Delta-9 can be very strong. Aside from heightening your audio and visual sensations, Delta-9 is also known to cause severe anxiety and paranoid delusions—this is commonly known as having a “bad trip”.
It can be a very scary experience. You can very much end up in a living nightmare. And the worst part is you don’t know when the high will come down. So you can get stuck feeling anxious and paranoid for several hours in some cases – which is why people prefer the more mild delta 8 THC.
It not only affects you psychologically, but it may even impair your motor skills, this is what is known as “couchlock”. It’s when your system gets so overwhelmed by the THC that your body feels extremely heavy and you start having a difficult time moving. If you have plans for the day, Delta-9 should be avoided.
Legality Surrounding Delta-8 and Delta-9
Marijuana is technically illegal on a federal level if the amount of Delta-9 THC is above 0.3%. But thanks to certain loopholes in the 2018 Farm Bill—yes—Delta-8 is legal at the federal level. It’s considered legal because it’s derived from hemp, and as long as it has a Delta-9 THC level below 0.3% it’s perfectly legal.
Some states have banned the use of Delta-8 so you need to check your local marijuana laws before trying it out. As of now, Delta-8 is only legal in 39 states.
As for Delta-9, only 11 states allow you to purchase this cannabinoid without a license. Most states only allow Delta-9 for medical reasons, and these Delta-9 products are highly regulated too.
Others just ban it entirely. It’s also considered a Schedule I controlled substance, which is the same category LSD and ecstasy fall into. This is mainly because these are the types of drugs that have a very high potential for abuse.
What are the benefits of Delta-8 THC?
Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC actually provide the same medical uses and benefits.
Studies have shown that both cannabinoids shared antiemetic properties that help aid digestive problems such as nausea and vomiting.
As we mentioned before, THC binds well with our body’s CB1 receptors responsible for regulating our appetite. This explains the appetite-boosting effects of THC, or as we like to call it—“the munchies”.This particular side effect has benefited people with eating disorders such as anorexia. Not only to help them gain weight but also to improve their mental health. Results from research show evidence of anorexic people showing significant improvements in their self-care after dosing THC.
Another known medical benefit that both cannabinoids share is their anticonvulsant effects. A particular survey done with the help of parents of children with epilepsy show that after dosing with THC, the frequency of their children’s seizures went down significantly 6. Some reported having lowered the frequency by 25% to 60%, others say 80%, while some say it stopped any seizures from happening at all.
Are there any possible risks from taking Delta-8 THC?
When you’re introducing your system to a new substance there is always a risk of unwanted side effects—this doesn’t just apply to delta 8 THC or delta 9 THC. Plenty of experts will agree that most substances, such as alcohol, are more harmful to our physical and mental health than marijuana is.
But just because other substances can be more harmful, doesn’t mean marijuana is completely safe and free of side effects. There are still risks to taking marijuana, whether smoked or ingested. They just happen on fewer occasions as compared to other substances.
One risk, for example, would be “cannabis psychosis”. It is a kind of acute psychosis brought about by the use of cannabis. It can occur even if you aren’t smoking marijuana, it could also happen when you vape or if you overdose on edibles.
But there is plenty of contradicting information about “cannabis psychosis”. With Delta-8 THC, in particular, the likelihood of you ending up with “cannabis psychosis” is pretty low. Unless you are diagnosed with a mental condition that does cause psychosis—prior to dosing THC—or if you have a history of schizophrenia, it is best to avoid any form of marijuana.
If you prefer to smoke marijuana you will experience cottonmouth and red eyes, no matter what type of THC you smoke. If you are a chronic smoker of cannabis, there is also a risk of Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome or CHS. It’s a new condition and it’s one of the rare conditions directly linked to smoking cannabis that is known to cause death.
More studies need to be conducted on this condition, but studying marijuana is pretty hard to do in America due to the strict restrictions surrounding weed. It’s taking a while to figure out how exactly CHS works. But what scientists have figured out, for now, is that it is typically the result of chronic marijuana use and dehydration.
The oddest thing about CHS is that, despite the proven antiemetic properties of marijuana, it causes intense vomiting, nausea, and abdominal pain to the point that you may die.
We do have some good news — marijuana has no effects on a person’s cardiovascular health. Several longitudinal studies have been conducted to determine the long-term effects and possible risks of smoking marijuana on a person’s cardiovascular health.
One of the studies was started during the mid-1980s and was finally published back in 2017. So it’s a 25-year long study that followed over 5,000 individuals. The study found that marijuana did not correlate with cardiovascular diseases even when compared to people who didn’t smoke marijuana.
Another study ran for 38 years and was published in 2016. 1,037 people were involved and the study found the same results, which was that smoking marijuana has no direct effects on a person’s cardiovascular health.
One more thing to take note of, this is not a risk nor a potential side effect to your health, but it’s good to note that Delta-8 may show up in a drug test. So if you need to pass a drug test do not ingest or smoke Delta-8.
What kind of products does Delta-8 come in?
Delta-8 comes in a variety of products including the usual flower, edibles, vape cartridges, oils, tinctures, topicals, roll-ons, and even certain beauty products. They even come in different strains, such as Indica, Sativa, and hybrid options.
Edibles are becoming one of the most popular forms of marijuana products. A lot of users will agree that it can be much better than smoking. Not only do edibles prolong the high and the intoxicating effects of THC, but they also come in several kinds of mouth-watering treats. There are brownies, chocolate chip cookies, potato chips, and even pizzas made with THC.
But, THC gummies are by far the highest-ranked form of edibles. How come, you ask? For one, they’re completely inconspicuous, allowing you to eat them anywhere at any time. But, they’re also very easy to dose and they have a longer shelf life than most edibles. Do note that just because these gummies can be hidden in plain sight, doesn’t mean they won’t be detected in a drug test.
If you’re curious to know what THC gummies are like, you should try Everest’s Delta-8 Gummies. They are one of the best Delta-8 products online! They come in a blue raspberry flavor and each gummy is packed with 20mg of Delta-8 THC. Everest Delta-8 THC gummies have even been lab-tested twice to ensure pure and premium quality. They’ve also been declared one of the best Delta 8 brands by various publications such as Discover Magazine.
Regulations and testing
Because Delta-9 THC has been used for far longer, the government has had enough time to lay down a couple of regulations and restrictions for Delta-9. Since Delta-8’s popularity is only beginning to rise, the government hasn’t had the chance to set a lot of regulations for it. And so far, no federal laws are prohibiting the production of Delta-8 (state laws may differ).
Now that Delta-8 is starting to catch the attention of more and more people, companies are starting to see the potential of Delta-8 and a lot more brands are coming out with Delta-8 products. But, do keep in mind, since strict regulations haven’t been imposed, there will be brands who may try to sell you sketchy Delta-8 products.
This is why it’s so important for you to be on the lookout for products that are trustworthy and honest with the contents of their products. Brands like Everest, which are tested by a third-party lab, can show solid evidence of the pure quality of their brands—these are the only brands you should be purchasing from.
Another thing you should keep in mind when purchasing or trying out Delta-8 THC is the recommended dosage. Because Delta-8 has a lower potency than Delta-9, you can take these in higher doses. The recommended dose for Delta-8 is usually between 10mg to 60mg.
When it comes to weed, there’s no possibility of “overdosing” like you would with other drugs. But take enough doses of Delta-8 and the effects just might end up like Delta-9. So if you want to avoid getting paranoid delusions, we highly suggest sticking to the recommended dosage.
The average cost of products
On average, the cost for Delta-8 products is higher than Delta-9, for several reasons. The first reason being it only makes up 0.01% of the cannabis plant. This results in the need for a more complex conversion, filtration, and distillation process to isolate and extract Delta-8.
Not to mention it requires a lot of lab testing to ensure the purest and highest quality of Delta-8 products, which can also be expensive.
The laws of supply and demand also bring up the price for Delta-8, but if you’re getting it from a trusted brand (such as Everest), it’s definitely worth the investment.
Why is Delta-8 better than Delta-9?
Aside from being federally legal and more accessible online and in-store. It provides the same medicinal benefits and euphoric high as Delta-9. And you can take it without having to worry about triggering your anxiety or having a bad trip.
Delta-8 gives you a consistent and smooth trip throughout the high. It puts you in a deeply relaxed state that can get rid of anxiety (not cause it), boosts productivity, and leaves you feeling elated.
It’s perfect for people who don’t want to experience the inconsistent highs of Delta-9 but want something that has a little more kick than CBD.
If you want a Delta-8 product that stands out, Everest is a sure win. Why? Because aside from using high-grade hemp—together with an advanced extraction process that yields a higher percentage of Delta-8 THC—they make sure to have their products tested by a third-party lab, not once, but twice!
All their products are packed with the purest Delta-8 THC you’ll be able to get your hands on in this day and age. If you check their lab results you’ll see that they pass all parts of the quality assessment. Their products are completely free from contaminants, toxins, and residual solvents.
Everest also uses all organic ingredients to ensure that customers are consuming the best quality Delta-8 products.This is a brand that goes above and beyond. So if you’re looking for a brand that you can trust, Everest is the #1 choice.