Recently, Delta 8 THC has become increasingly common in cannabis extracts, and people can purchase in states where cannabis products are legally available for medical or recreational purposes. But where did this forgotten chemical relative of standard Delta 9 (THC) come from? Delta 8 did not appear anywhere here, but it has been part of cannabis. However, our awareness of its existence arose only with the beginning of cannabinoid research in 1964, after Dr. Raphael Mechoulam discovered Delta 9 - a cannabinoid that came into the public consciousness under THC. Mechoulam's discovery marked a breakthrough in cannabis research. Over time, more and more experts began to uncover the veil of secrecy and describe this herb's biochemical profile and therapeutic potential. More than sixty cannabinoid substances have been recorded that react with the human body's neurotransmitter system for cannabis - the endocannabinoid system. Scientists, using new knowledge, have also been able to find Delta 8 in the 1970s. However, the newly discovered compound did not become the center of much interest. At first impressions, it seemed that it did not occur so often in nature compared to Delta 9 and that its effectiveness was also lower in comparison. The researchers then also found that the structure of the two THC compounds is almost identical and differed only in the location of one atomic bond. However, even a seemingly insignificant difference may mean that the compound will ultimately have a completely different effect on humans than expected.

What are the effects of Delta 8?

After the discovery of this cannabinoid, scientists in the USA were interested in it for a while. They tested its effects on the human body, the potential to stop the growth of tumors, and whether it could be used as an antiemetic (a medicine against nausea). However, due to the drug doctrines of US President Ronald Reagan and his followers, all the researches on Delta 8 cannabinoid were suspended for more than twenty years. Nevertheless, Delta 8, like other cannabinoids, gradually began to come to the forefront of interest not only to the professional public. One of the main advantages of Delta 8 over Delta 9 is that the first-mentioned compound did not have such strong psychoactive effects. Researchers can safely administer large doses of Delta 8 to test subjects to achieve maximum antiemetic effects without inducing the intoxication that Delta 9 typically causes. Since Delta 8 is not very common in nature, scientists looked for answers to get a resource usable for medical purposes? And nowadays, researchers managed to find a way to get both Delta 8 and Delta 9 from another much more available cannabinoid - cannabidiol (CBD). This production method is called isomerization and involves a chemical reaction during which the bonds between atoms in a molecule, in this case - CBD, are broken. After breaking the original structure, the particles are arranged to form molecules of other compounds containing the same atoms as the original substance. And coincidentally, the cannabinoids Delta 8 and Delta 9 consist of the same particles as CBD. Today's technological progress has made the isomerization of CBD to THC much easier than it was ten years ago. The fact that Delta 8 is now appearing more and more frequently in the cannabis market is only due to today's generation of innovative herbal extraction experts. The distillation used to obtain the main ingredients found in almost all fillings for vaporizers tells us how significant a role Delta 8 will play in the future in the production of cannabis products. It is also worth mentioning that Delta 8 is also beginning to appear on a large scale in, among other things, vaporizer cartridges, the main components of which have been obtained by distillation. So far, it looks like the star of this compound will continue to rise, mainly due to the cannabinoid CBD, which has dramatically increased the availability of Delta 8. Cannabis plants with a high CBD content have long been grown largely in numerous US states under local law. The law demands that the crop must contain less than 0.3 % of Delta 9 (THC). The harvested plants are then used as efficiently as possible to produce pure crystalline cannabidiol extracts, which can then be easily converted to Delta 8 or Delta 9 extracts. The total production of CBD extracts is currently unknown. Therefore, it is not so difficult to imagine that we are on the threshold of the age of laboratory production of cannabinoids, such as Delta 8, intended for further use and sale.

Delta 8 Legal Regulations In USA

The intoxicating cannabinoid that is synthesized from the hemp plant has become very popular in the USA. Numerous states are now trying to close legal loopholes regarding their drug laws to bring Delta 8 compound into the regulatory agreement. Soon, a forthcoming bill in Oklahoma apart from Delta 9 would legally differentiate marijuana, including Delta 8 and Delta 10. A similar application is undertaken in Alabama's state government. Cannabis Board and The Washington State Liquor recently announced a policy statement that allows Delta 8 derived from licensed cannabis. However, all the products manufactured from unlicensed hemp will not be determined as legal. The state legislative committee in North Dakota lately voted to allow measures that would change the definition of THC in the state by making it a legal substance. The lawmakers of Oregon are operating regulations, which would formulate a definition for "synthetically derived" cannabinoids. It will help to manage such compounds under the US state's adult-use cannabis and medical laws.
Nevertheless, many US states did not legalize hemp-derived products until this very day, including Delta 8. Those who synthesized hemp into an intoxicant could face state criminal charges, and the hemp growers who will violate the proposed changes would lose their licenses.
Here are statements that will ensure the legal status of Delta 8 products:
  • If the hemp used to create Delta 8 products obtains from lawful sources considered as legal.
  • The hemp should comply with state food and drug and federal laws.
  • There should be an agreement with a manufacturing facility that complies with new Good Manufacturing Practice regulations.
  • The consumers must be 21+ years old, and all the online stores should have age verification systems. The stores may not promise or affirm that the Delta 8 product will get the users a "high" effect. 
  • The concentrations of Delta 8 products and their serving size must be regulated to a safety limit, which is not yet determined.
  • The products must comply with the appropriate state laws -including ingredients, manufacturing, advertising, and labeling.
  • In the US states where adult-use cannabis is legal, consumers must buy from a licensed cannabis retailer. It will ensure that the Delta 8 products have been laboratory tested for purity and potency, do not contain unknown compounds, and free of pesticides and unwanted chemicals.
Due to uncertainties in the 2018 farm bill that legalizes hemp and hemp-derived products, Delta 8 is currently not banned by federal law. Mainly because Delta 8 is a new product, many US state laws do not mark it alone. That is why Delta 8 is in a gray area, and no one knows how long it will remain legal.

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