Delta-Eight THC Exploits Unbelievable Authorized Loophole


When countries start to regulate industries, it’s not a cut and dry process. There are tons of tiny considerations and applications to account for, not to mention that new information coming out, or changes, can create gray areas in laws, and places for legal loopholes. Delta-8 THC is a great example of this.

Before getting to delta-8, it’s best to start with what’s more familiar, delta-9 THC; the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) most associated with the cannabis plant, and the cannabinoid responsible for the psychoactive properties of cannabis. Delta-9 THC comes from THCA, the THC that is actually in cannabis flowers. THCA is decarboxylated into THC over time in the plant, or with the application of heat.

This process means that a CO2 molecule is dropped, creating the chemical formulation (C21H30O2), thus turning it into the THC (delta-9) that we associate with getting high and feeling better. A small percentage of the delta-9 THC will oxidize to become delta-8 THC, which is considered an analogue of delta-9 THC. The main difference? Delta-8 has a double bond on the 8th carbon atom, and delta-9 on the 9th one.

Essentially, delta-8 is a minorly altered form of the delta-9 THC we know land love so well, and is found in only tiny amounts – about .01% of both high-THC and low-THC flowers. Much like other cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD), cannabichromene (CBC), and cannabinol (CBN), which appear in small amounts in the cannabis plant, delta-8 THC must be isolated and extracted to produce a larger amount than would be ingested through smoking, vaping, or eating the plant alone.

The tiny amount of it found in plants, and relative inability to cause much reaction due to its miniscule concentration, could be what kept it from being of much interest for so long. Delta-8 can be sourced from either high-THC or low-THC plants.

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What does delta-8 do?

Delta-8 is already associated with a number of health benefits. The National Center for Biological Information (NCBI) describes delta-8 THC as follows: “An analogue of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with antiemetic, anxiolytic, appetite-stimulating, analgesic, and neuroprotective properties.” It goes on to say: “This agent exhibits a lower psychotropic potency than delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9-THC), the primary form of THC found in cannabis.”

One of the fascinating points of interest is also in its cancer-fighting abilities, seen first in 1974 when a study examining mice with tumors found that delta-9 slowed tumor growth after a number of days, while delta-8 combined with CBN actually caused tumors to shrink after 20 days. Another study in 1995 on children with blood cancer, showed a high rate of efficacy for treating the cancer, while also controlling nausea and vomiting.

There are still a lot of unknowns of course, like how much less psychoactive delta-8 is, and how this relates to how it makes users feel. A 1973 study came out with the statistic of delta-8 having 2/3 the psychoactive effects as delta-9, a significant decrease, but hardly an insignificant amount for a person to feel it. This means delta-8 gives patients and adult-users the ability to gain many of the same (and possibly more) of the benefits of delta-9, but with less of an actual high.

It is believed – or at least alluded to – that this lack of psychoactive ability also makes users experience less anxiety, making for a good alternative for users who want the benefits of THC – medical or otherwise – without feeling amped-up. There doesn’t seem to be an exact consensus on how it makes a person feel, however many publications report that it produces a high that is more energizing, and less heavy, leaving users with a clearer mind, and more relaxed. More research is necessary on the subject.

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Beth Edmonds