In the wake of the global decriminalization of cannabis and hemp products, Delta 8 is on the rise and can be found in many cannabis dispensaries and convenience stores. Delta 8 products have recently gained commercial traction due to their potential benefits and usage for medical and recreational purposes. Though it has been around since 1965, its possible uses are being explored more than ever. This comprehensive guide will cover the ins and outs of Delta 8, such as potential uses and benefits, any health concerns associated with use, and the legality of production.
Cannabis is one of the most versatile plants in the world; countless products are developed from it, and we seem to find more uses for it every year. Yet, as innovation invites further research, it's becoming clear that we've only begun to realize its full potential. But what exactly is Delta 8? In 1965, Raphael Mechoulam, also known as "The Father of Cannabis," discovered and isolated THC, CBD, and several other cannabinoids.
Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol is a naturally-occurring cannabinoid, just one of over a hundred compounds derived from the Cannabis sativa plant. The most well-known compound is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which produces psychoactive effects commonly associated with marijuana. However, Delta 8 is believed to be less intoxicating than THC; in addition, Delta 8 isn't as prevalent in the plant, which requires it to be synthesized or converted.
Delta-8's milder psychoactive profile makes it ideal for alternative medicine and reduces the probability of anxiety and paranoia in those using it. In addition, Delta 8's may have potential benefits, such as a calm, clear-headed feeling and stress relief. Delta 8 may also be useful for relieving nausea, as Delta 8 and Delta 9 have helped reduce vomiting in chemotherapy patients. Delta 8 is also being studied for its potential to help with inflammation, pain relief, and appetite stimulation. Other benefits may include:
In addition, Delta 8 has a nearly identical chemical structure to Delta 9, but its effects depend on the individual. For example, Delta 8 is believed to be more effective for pain relief and anxiety, while Delta 9 may be more beneficial for insomnia. Finally, regarding recreational use, Delta 8 can give users a mild euphoric feeling without becoming too intoxicated. This could be great news for those who want to experience the relaxing effects of cannabis without compromising their mental clarity or ability to function normally afterward.
Due to Raphael's research, we later discovered the Endocannabinoid System (ECS); Delta 8 works by binding to specific receptors in our ECS. Generally, endocannabinoids bind to these receptors using two primary receptors. The two primary receptors are:
CB1 receptors are found predominately on neurons in the brain, while CB2 receptors are more widespread throughout the body and concentrated in the immune system. The location of a CB receptor determines its function, which explains why cannabinoids have such a wide range of properties. While some cannabinoids can only bind to one receptor, others can bind with both, and still, others cannot bind with either.
For example, THC can attach to CB1 receptors, but combining THC with CB1 receptors brings about psychoactive effects. On the other hand, CBD does not bind either type of receptor; however, it has been shown to lessen THC's binding affinity for CB1 receptors—which might help reduce some of THC's intoxicating qualities. In other words, the different structures of these molecules will affect how they bind with the ECS receptors. For example, Delta 8 is like Delta 9-THC but can attach to the CB1 and CB2 receptors.
More research needs to be done to understand the full scope of Delta 8 benefits and side effects. However, since Delta 8 is a derivative of Delta 9-THC, it has the same potential side effects. Delta 8 use may cause:
Furthermore, Delta-8 is produced in laboratories, so the purity of these products is often unknown. Also, according to an article by Chemical and Engineering News, Delta-8-containing products might have traces of Delta-9 and Delta-10 THC. Unfortunately, there’s little research on Delta-10 THC or any leftover extraction materials.
Though it's unlikely that consuming these compounds will have adverse effects, experts say synthetic by-products may not be safe. Because of all the unknowns, users must source Delta 8 products from a reputable retailer specializing in safe, hemp-derived products. Typically, these retailers provide documentation of laboratory tests and results from independent testing.
Delta-8 THC is naturally-found in small amounts in cannabis; however, companies can extract Delta 8 from hemp plants by isolating CBD and converting it into Delta 8 through a process known as isomerization. Isomerization occurs when CBD molecules are exposed to certain conditions, such as heat or light, which causes them to rearrange their structure and become Delta 8 molecules.
While there are some retailers using laboratories to separate Delta 8-THC from unwanted reactionary products, not all of them are taking the time to clean up their products. Some byproducts, like Olivetol, a precursor to THC, are a by-product that retailers try to use as an oral product that prevents cannabis intoxication. Unfortunately, we won't always be so lucky as olivetol isn't the only leftover product.
Delta 8 can be consumed in various ways, making it easy to incorporate into everyday life. Delta 8 is often found in tinctures, vape cartridges, edibles, and topicals. Each method of consumption has different benefits and drawbacks regarding how Delta 8 is absorbed into the body. For example, using Delta 8 edibles provides a deep feeling of relaxation because Delta 8 is slowly absorbed over a longer period.
Edibles vary in strength, but it typically takes 90 minutes to digest and absorb them. On the other hand, Delta 8 tinctures are fast-acting and can provide relief in 10-30 minutes. These variables are why it's essential to source quality products because poorly made ones could produce less desirable effects.
While Delta 8 is legal in many countries and states worldwide, it remains banned due to regulatory issues. For instance, in the United States, products like Delta 8-THC, which comes from hemp-derived CBD, are legal because of a loophole in the federal government's 2018 Farm Bill. However, Delta 8 still needs regulation or formal approval by certain regulatory bodies. As a result, certain states are banning Delta 8, including Delaware, Alaska, and South Carolina; other states are currently assessing their stance on the issue. However, on May 20, 2022, a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit panel ruled 3-0 in favor of Delta 8 products being legal; despite this ruling, the DEA considers it a controlled substance.
In European countries, it's a different story altogether. Delta 8-THC is legally approved in the European Union and many other countries as long as it’s derived from hemp and approved by the European Commission. In addition, Delta-8 is classified as a "novel food," which means it’s not considered a narcotic. As Malta is the only European country to legalize recreational cannabis, others will likely follow soon.
Aside from Germany, this includes other Western European countries, such as Portugal, Spain, and the Netherlands, which have adopted decriminalization. In addition, Eastern European countries, like Poland, Romania, and Greece, permit medical cannabis. However, Delta 8 products and their legality are far from settled. As such, anyone interested in trying this new compound should always check local laws to ensure they don't run into any trouble.
Given Delta 8's relatively new status in the cannabis industry, finding a trustworthy source for Delta 8 products can be challenging. A good starting point is looking for Delta 8 products from companies with a proven track record of offering high-quality products, such as Hempire Gardens. Hempire Gardens Delta 8 products are made with the highest quality standards to ensure users get the maximum benefit without any risks.
The company's process involves choosing a genetically-superior Cannabis cultivar while still complying with the EU's legal levels. After careful selection, Hempire Gardens products are extracted from 100% organic hemp flower balanced with botanically-derived terpenes with food-grade quality. In addition, Delta 8 products from Hempire Gardens are third-party tested to confirm their concentrations and to ensure they don't contain any contaminants.
Hempire Gardens Delta 8 products are available in numerous forms, including vape carts and tinctures. Their Delta 8 tinctures are made from Delta 8 full-spectrum CBD and Delta 8 oil, offering users the perfect blend of hemp extraction to suit their needs. In addition, each product description is thoughtfully written, and lab certifications, or Safety Data Sheets, are available for download. Hempire Gardens wants to educate its customers on Delta 8 while assuring them that they buy the highest quality products. Even with Delta 8’s legal status in flux, Hempire Gardens is an exciting new way to experience the benefits of cannabis.