Is Delta-8-THC Legal and What is D8 Good For?
We’ve been hearing a lot lately about a cannabinoid compound called delta-8-THC. It’s legal, it’s not legal, it’s intoxicating, it’s not intoxicating, it’s natural, it’s not natural…
Here’s Why Delta-8-THC Is Important
We’ve all heard of THC by now. That’s the technical nickname for the intoxicating cannabis compound delta-9-THC. Well, we can’t just say “THC” now because there’s a new THC on the block — delta-8-THC. This newly popularized cannabinoid is actually a big deal for two reasons. Let’s get into it.
What is delta-8-THC?
Delta-8-THC is similar to both delta-9-THC and CBD, the non-intoxicating cannabinoid. D8 shares many of the same medicinal benefits of both D9 THC and CBD. Moreover, its intoxicating effects lie somewhere in between those of D9 THC and CBD. Like these other more well-known cannabinoids, D8 is excellent for reducing inflammation, relieving pain, taming anxiety, preventing nausea, and much more.
But the thing about D8 THC is there’s not really enough of it to go around. While cannabis flower can consist of up to 30 percent THC and CBD, D8 THC is usually produced in quantities of less than a fraction of a percent. This dearth of D8 makes it economically unfeasible to produce in mass quantities. Or does it….
Interestingly, CBD can be converted to D8 THC after extraction. And CBD oils can be legally mass-produced from hemp (non-intoxicating strains of cannabis). Now you’ve got an intoxicating (albeit mildly) compound without having to grow marijuana, which, as we all know, is federally illegal.
Is delta-8 THC legal?
If there’s one thing the government doesn’t like it’s when people figure out ways to get around their rules. So when D8 started becoming the new rage, the USDA decided to make it clear that all synthesized cannabinoids are Schedule I controlled substances. So now the question becomes, what exactly does “synthesized” actually mean. And therein lies the D8 debate.
While the feds say D8 is synthesized, the National Hemp Association, begs to differ. The group claims that because D8-THC is made from natural CBD, it does not qualify as “synthetically derived.”
The jury is still out on the legality of D8 and D8 still out on the open market. So far, you don’t need a medical marijuana card. You can buy delta-8 THC online. So far as we know, no one has been arrested for producing and selling D8.
While it’s looking more and more likely that the federal government will either legalize or decriminalize marijuana, the question remains as to whether or not the feds will consider D8 to be a synthetic cannabinoid and choose to continue to regulate it.
The importance of Delta-8-THC in medicine
Aside from wielding an array of medicinal benefits, one thing that makes D8 THC so valuable as a medicine is that D8-THC is highly stable and has a long shelf life, whereas D9 THC does not. D9 oxidizes over time converting into cannabinol (CBN) which is not as medicinally useful as D8 THC.
So the short of it is that D8 can hang around in the pharmacy or medicine cabinet a lot longer than D9 while providing many of the same benefits and lowering the risk of excessive intoxication.
In various studies, D8 has emerged as a safe and effective pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and anti-nausea treatment. All of these claims are also made about CBD, however, D8 offers that little bit of an uplifting effect which might make it better for treating depression than CBD.
One of the most promising uses of D8, however, might be as an adjunct in the treatment of cancer. A clinical study done in 1995 explored delta-8 THC’s efficacy in reducing or preventing nausea in children diagnosed with cancer who were undergoing chemotherapy. Data showed that D8 did, indeed, safely and effectively reduced the side effects of chemo. Many D8 users claim that it is more effective at reducing nausea than common pharmaceutical medications.
We expect to see a lot more of this interesting cannabinoid compound in the future — especially in states where marijuana is legal for recreational or medical use where officials are far less likely to care about one more cannabinoid.