Delta 8 THC Compared to Delta 9 THC
Delta-9 THC Explained
As an activator of the CB1 receptor, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol — commonly known as THC is the main intoxicating component of cannabis.
THC intoxication has been shown to increase blood flow to the prefrontal cortex, the region of the brain responsible for decision-making, attention, motor skills, and other executive functions.
When THC binds to CB1 receptors in the brain’s reward system, it can trigger feelings of euphoria.
Much of THC’s ability to relieve pain is due to its interaction with CB1 receptors in the midbrain.
Delta-8 THC Explained
Delta-8-THC is an isomer of Delta-9 THC
It only differs from delta-9-THC by the placement of one atomic double bond.
Generally, this chemical is produced in a lab, not extracted directly from the plant. It is actually synthesized from CBD Isolate.
This creates a legal loophole, because the product is being sold as “hemp derived” even though it is actually a chemically produced THC isomer.
Delta 9 THC is a major cannabinoid that can be found in abundance and is easily extracted from in cannabis.
Extracting Delta 8 THC is more challenging because it is a minor cannabinoid
Synthesizing Delta 8 from CBD
Delta 8 can be synthesized entirely from CBD with the use of solvents.
Deriving Delta 8 from hemp ensures the final product is under the 0.3% THC level to be federally legal.
Steps to Synthesize D8 THC from CBD isolate
Dissolve into non-polar solvent of choice. Common solvents include heptane.
Add a Lewis acid, like alumina, p-toluenesulfonic, or hydrochloric. Maintain the mixture at a temperature of 100 degrees C while continually stirring for upwards of 18 hours.
Once the chemical reaction is complete, and the upper phase is separated, wash and neutralize the solution with 5% NaHCO3
Test for purity and contaminants using HPLC, separate the converted mixture into its “many cannabinoid parts”.
Conversion is never 100%
Delta 9 is considerably more potent effects than Delta 8.
Ex. paranoid delusions, mental fog, impaired motor skills, and increased feelings of anxiety.
Delta 8 is reported to provide a more muted experience with most users feel a great sense of calm and clarity. However, many have reported a definite “high” to the experience, but not enough to impair the ability to form coherent thoughts or focus on activities.
Onset Time Difference
Delta 9 has an onset that is more rapid and instantaneous
Delta 8 works slowly and gradually as it eases users into a more mellow state
Similar End Products
Both can be smoked as a flower, inhaled through vaping, consumed in edible form also with a wide variety of topicals, capsules, tinctures, edibles and other products.
Delta 9 THC in any amount over 0.3% is not legal at a federal level.
State level depends entirely on their local laws.
Delta 8 is still technically legal on a federal level. That’s because of the ambiguities of the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp production.
There is nothing within the bill that prohibits deriving Delta 8 from hemp and creating products with the compound.
The psychoactive nature of Delta 8 has prompted a fair number of bans at the state level, though.
Currently there are 15 states that restrict the sale and use of Delta 8 products, with another 6 states where legal action is pending.
So while Delta 8 is more widespread at the moment than Delta 9, how long that will last has yet to be determined.
Delta 8 since it is federally legal can be shipped across state lines, unlike Delta 9.
There are a lot more online retailers for Delta 8 products as a result.
Remember: Delta 8 products are not regulated by the FDA, so it is up to you to seek out lab results tested from a third party lab.
Delta 9 vs Delta 8
Delta 9 might be considered the “classic” choice by some within the cannabis community,
Delta 8 has been quickly gaining in popularity due to its milder effects and legal availability.
Since this is an isomer of Delta 9 it is also likely to come under some form of regulation in the future even though that may not currently be the case.
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