What is Delta 8?
Interest and general curiosity around Delta 8 is at an all time high. If you look into search trends and you type in “What is Delta 8”, you find that there has never been more interest in finding that answer:
So that begs the question… What is it?
Delta 8 is a cannabinoid just like CBD and THC. In fact, Delta 8 is remarkably similar to THC. In general, when we refer to THC we are really referring to the scientific name of the cannabinoid, Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. Delta-9-THC is the most studied cannabinoid, and we can learn a lot about Delta-8-THC because of this. The similarities between Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC are in their chemical structures and their names. Delta-8, like Delta-9 can cause you to feel high. The difference in these two compounds chemically is in the placement of the double bond. Both cannabinoids contain a chain of carbon atoms, but Delta-8 has a double bond on the eighth carbon while Delta-9 has it on the ninth. Makes sense when you think about the names! The simplest way to think about Delta-8 THC, is as a less potent form of Delta-9 THC.
So, if Delta-8 THC is a less potent form of Delta-9 THC, how is it being sold across the country as legal? The answer there is that it is not. Delta-8 THC currently exists in a legal gray area. Delta-8 THC is found in incredibly small amounts in nature. To produce Delta-8 THC, most chemists will source CBD from hemp and synthesize the molecule to become Delta-8 THC. The 2018 Farm Bill that was passed by Congress, legalized hemp in the US and defined hemp as: “All derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent.” This language makes Delta-8 legal because it does not contain any Delta-9 THC. However, in August 2020, the DEA released an Interim Final Rule that stated “All synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols remain Schedule I controlled substances,” which would make Delta-8 illegal because it is a tetrahydrocannabinol that is extracted, or synthetically derived. So, the debate then is which ruling holds more water than the other? Does the Farm Bill passed by Congress supersede the Interim Final Rule of the DEA? We are not lawyers and cannot speculate on that but there are many brands out there making that exact bet.
Why Doesn’t DirectHemp.com Carry Delta 8 Products?
When Delta 8 first started growing in popularity, we discussed the pros and cons of offering it to our customers and family. We looked at the fact that extraordinarily little studies have been done on the safety and efficacy of Delta 8 and its availability to the public has come rather quickly. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to find clinical studies on the effects of Delta-8 THC. The only known study was published nearly 50 years ago, in 1973. That research found intravenous Delta-8 THC doses ranging from 1mg to 6mg “produced a wide spectrum of cannabis-like effects.” Which does not tell us much. We also cannot overlook the fact that ALL Delta-8 available on the market is created through synthesizing it in a lab which, by definition, makes it a synthetic cannabinoid.
We decided that we did not have enough information to guarantee the safety or efficacy of these products and we held true to our belief in only offering naturally-extracted cannabinoids to our customers. We also operate our business in a way that does not allow for us to go into any legal grey areas. These deciding factors made it simple for us to choose not to bring on any products that have Delta-8 in them. We believe mother nature is amazing and the plants found here on earth in their natural form are miraculous. Because of this, we will always choose natural, ethically-extracted cannabinoids over synthetic ones.