Although delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the most well-known cannabinoid, it has a rising counterpart: delta-8 THC. Scientists and researchers believe that there are over 120 different cannabinoids in hemp and cannabis plants, and delta-8 is the most recent to emerge.
Delta-8 THC is an isomer of delta-9 THC, which is believed to have neuroprotective properties such as stimulating appetite, reducing nausea, and managing anxiety and pain. Delta-8 THC contains some psychoactive properties, but is said to have less psychotropic effects than traditional THC or delta-9.
The legal status of Delta-8 remains somewhat of a gray area. According to 2018 Farm Bill, the production of hemp products with a THC delta-9 threshold of 0.3% or less is legal. So, while delta-8 THC products are made from hemp, they are technically legal at the federal level. However, some states have started to regulate the new compound, so be sure to check the legal status of delta-8 THC in your state before purchasing. Some lawmakers see Farm Bill terminology as a loophole and seek to close the gap.
So, will the way Delta-8 THC is made impact how it can be sold? Read on for a simple description of how delta-8 THC is made and how it affects sales in your state. For more information on the legality of delta-8 THC, Check here.
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What is Delta-8 THC?
First, let’s define what delta-8 THC actually is. Delta-8 THC is one of the many natural compounds found in hemp and cannabis plants. Delta-8 is a minor cannabinoid, which means it is less abundant than major cannabinoids like traditional THC or CBD.
Delta-8 and delta-9 share a similar chemical structure, with a few key differences. Delta-8 THC contains the bond on the 8th carbon chain while delta-9 THC has it on the 9th carbon chain. This difference in structure is what can cause delta-8 to have potentially therapeutic effects similar to delta-9 THC, but apparently less amplified. Delta-8 can get you high, but it’s believed to create a smoother high.
How is Delta-8 THC made?
While the research surrounding all cannabinoids is relatively new and emerging, there is less knowledge about minor cannabinoids compared to major ones like delta-9 THC or CBD. Delta-9 THC that is produced and sold for medical or recreational purposes comes from cannabis plants, while hemp plants are used for strains high in CBD that fall below the threshold of 0.3% or less THC. .
Most CBD products, with the exception of flowers which undergo little or no processing, are created using an extraction method. There are many forms of extraction, but the most common is the use of CO2, or supercritical carbon dioxide, extraction.. This method separates liquid from gas, and the end results are usually an extract or an oil. It is also usually the first step in the production of delta-8 THC.
Even though delta-8 THC is found in all hemp and cannabis plants, most of the products available today are made from hemp plants that undergo an extensive process that turns CBD into delta-8. The process involves dissolving the CBD in a solvent. An acid is added to this mixture, which is then heated for hours, where a chemical reaction occurs that converts the CBD to delta-8. When the reaction is complete, the solution is separated and neutralized.
The process involves chemicals and acids, which can often require cleaning for a product to be safe and pure. Likewise, there may be more than traces of delta-9 THC left, which could negatively impact you if the goal were to avoid traditional THC for a reduced “high”. This is why third-party lab testing is so important for delta-8 THC products.
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Trust third-party lab tests
There are usually byproducts of converting CBD to delta-8, and when trying out a product claiming to be made from a newly popular cannabinoid, lab testing is key. Through the use of HPLC (High Performance Liquid Chromatography) testing, analysis for purity, potency, pesticides and solvents can be determined, allowing you to find a reliable, safe and legal product to use.
At Real Tested CBD, we use HPLC to take the guesswork out of your cannabinoid purchase. From safety to quality, we bring the transparency of CBD and THC directly to you. For delta-8 products that have to go through the process of converting from a major cannabinoid to a minor delta-8, lab testing is the best way to find out exactly what you’re getting. Turn to tested CBD for all your cannabinoid needs, and Click here for our list of the best delta-8 THC products tested to date.
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