What is Delta 8 THC?

Photo from Unsplash

Originally Posted On:


Research over the past few years has shown the versatility of the cannabis plant. Split into two separate categories, hemp and marijuana, the cannabis plant could offer tons of benefits. Unfortunately, for several decades, it has been federally prohibited. But thanks to a recent law change, hemp and marijuana, once defined together, are now defined separately. With federally legal hemp available across the country, sales continue to boom.

Delta 9 THC is the main psychoactive THC cannabinoid that is the active ingredient in the plant. It’s mostly responsible for the euphoric sensations. However, a newer, less psychoactive THC cannabinoid has taken the hemp industry by storm. And it’s known as Delta 8 THC or D8.

Understanding Delta 8 THC

Delta 8 is one of over 100 naturally occurring cannabinoids currently identified in cannabis and hemp plants. It’s found in small amounts inside the plant’s stem. Considered to be a little brother to Delta 9 THC, D8 is reported to have less psychoactive effects by users. This is thanks to the slight difference in chemical structure between Delta 8 and Delta 9. Each THC molecule is classified separately based on the location of a double bond along the carbon chain. D8 forms a double bond on the 8th carbon chain. Delta 9 THC forms a double bond on the 9th carbon chain.

Though they offer similar experiences, Delta 8 THC products are growing in popularity because of its federal legal status. Plus, D8 THC products offer all the benefits of cannabis sativa without any of the adverse effects normally associated with Delta 9.

Delta 8 THC is found naturally in cannabis plant material, but in very small amounts. In order to create and extract larger amounts of D8, hemp is put through the decarboxylation process. Once hemp goes through this process of heating up the plant and extracting the intended cannabinoid, in this case D8, it can then be added to various products for consumption in large quantities

How to Dose Delta 8 THC

Finding the correct or ideal dose of Delta 8 really depends on the individual person. Do you have previous experience with any THC products? Do you regularly consume THC? What’s your age, height, weight, metabolism, etc.? All of these are factors to how you will react and feel D8 in your system.

Is Delta 8 Legal?

Yes! Delta 8 is federally legal under the 2018 Farm Bill. Cannabis as a whole plant has been categorized as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) since the 1970s. This made any kind of possession a federal offense with heavy fines and minimum jail sentences. But as interest in the plant and its supposed benefit, there was pressure on Congress and state lawmakers to make changes to the laws surrounding cannabis.

For the first time in decades, hemp and marijuana became defined separately under the 2018 Farm Bill, which passed through Congress and was signed by former President Trump. If the plant itself contains less than 0.3% of Delta 9, then it’s considered industrial hemp and federally legal. Anything over that 0.3% threshold is still considered illegal.

State Laws

Even though the Farm Bill legalized hemp on the federal level, it remained up to the states to set their own laws. All have now legalized industrial hemp with most states legalizing D8. However, some have banned, restricted, or look to regulate its production and sale. They believe Delta 8 legalized through a loophole , despite both the DEA and the US Court of Appeals saying Delta 8 is legal according to the law. So far, those that have banned it include:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Michigan (conflicting laws)
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • North Dakota
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah
  • Vermont

Shopping for Delta 8

Because Delta 8 THC is federally legal, stores and online retailers, like Skyhio, have the ability to ship your purchase directly to your front door, regardless of business or home status. For states that continue to ban Delta 9 products higher than 0.3% Delta 9 by dry weight volume, D8 is a great alternative that’s less potent and comes directly to your door, from vapes to gummies.

How Does Delta 8 Work?

Despite very little knowledge of Delta 8 THC as a cannabinoid, scientists have been able to discover a few things about it. The biggest thing discovered is how D8 works with the body’s natural endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system helps to regulate and function many of the body’s essential systems, such as nerves, balance, appetite, and so on. The main goal of the ECS is to create and maintain a homeostasis, a perfect balance, in the body.

Inside the ECS are two types of receptors, known as CB1 and CB2. Traditionally, cannabinoids that attach primarily to CB1 trigger more of the nervous system. Delta 9 attaches primarily to CB1 receptors. This is how the body feels the more euphoric effects, like a clouded head, a euphoric high, and a slowed perception of time.

Other cannabinoids that connect to CB2 are more known for their physical benefits. This is where hemp derived CBD products fit in. CBD products don’t offer the psychoactive feelings but help with some of the physical benefits, like reducing pain and soothing joints.

D8 sets itself apart because it’s known to attach to both CB1 and CB2 receptors. That’s what makes it the best of both worlds according to some users. There are slight psychoactive feelings similar to Delta 9, but it also helps with some of the physical aspects that CBD can help with, like a full body relaxation.

How Long Does Delta 8 THC Stay In Your Body?

Just like Delta 9 and other hemp products, Delta 8 will stay in your system after consumption. But how long it stays in your body depends on your previous use and the way your body works, similar to figuring out what dose to take that we mentioned earlier. There are factors to consider, such as usage, age, consumption method, and the dose you consumed. Each of these will either increase or decrease the amount of time D8 will remain in your system.

For example, if you don’t use Delta 8 frequently and aren’t taking large doses, D8 will filter out of your body faster than someone who consumes Delta 8 THC products on a regular basis and takes larger doses. Those who are older tend to see D8 and other cannabinoids in their systems longer simply because their metabolism and body function at a slower pace as they get older. Delta 8 can be detected for as long as 30 days in the body for more frequent users, but for a lesser amount of time for infrequent users.

Will I Pass a Drug Test?

The simple answer is no. If you consume Delta 8 THC shortly before a drug test, you will have a positive test result. Drug tests specifically look for any THC molecule. They don’t differentiate between the different types of THC, like D 8 or Delta 10. However, if you are an infrequent user and take a test a little while after consuming Delta 8, you may not test positive for THC.

The best thing to do is to not consume D8 for a couple of weeks before any scheduled drug test to guarantee that you test negative.

What Does Delta 8 THC Feel Like?

There are several different ways that Delta 8 can be described. Because it’s related to Delta 9 THC, some of the feelings a person may have are close to the same. Those can range from a pleasant sense of euphoria to full body relaxation. Many of these feelings depend on how big of a dose someone takes and what their previous and current usage levels are.

Potential Benefits

Some variations in lower doses could actually stimulate and energize an individual. This is a separate kind of energy than from an energy drink or any caffeine based drink. While energy drinks and caffeine give someone physical energy to keep going, their mind can still be sluggish.

Energy from D8 is more of a mental stimulation, something that helps keep your brain going according to consumers. Many have said they consume low doses of Delta 8 before studying or doing something they could consider ‘boring.’ D8 helps keep their brain stimulated so they can keep moving forward.

Another reported benefit consumers report is feeling a full body relaxation, which can lead to a deeper sleep. By fully relaxing one’s body, racing thoughts and even stress and anxiety from everyday life. This can ease the brain’s tension, leading to relaxation. Then the more a body is relaxed, the easier it is to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Side Effects

Like all good things, there may be some downsides of Delta 8 THC for people. And again, the typical side effects reported by D8 consumers are similar to Delta 9 THC side effects but to a less extreme. Many of these reported effects come with the moderate to larger sized doses, typically 25mg and over when these feelings are commonly reported.

As with Delta 9, Delta 8 THC can cause fatigue and tiredness, slowed cognition, the “munchies,” a dry mouth, and red, itchy eyes. They aren’t as extreme as Delta 9, but sometimes these side effects can feel overwhelming. One reported way to combat this is to simply sleep for a bit. This gives the body a chance to process the Delta 8 and filter it through. After waking up, many consumers say they feel refreshed with no additional or lingering negative effects after consuming a larger dose of Delta 8 beforehand.

Learn More About Delta 8 Vs Delta 9 =>

What Are The Different Types of Delta 8 THC Products

With the increase in popularity, there are a variety of different Delta 8 THC products people can purchase and consume. Using Delta 8 products varies between people based on which products you choose.


Becoming one of the more popular ways to consume cannabinoids, tinctures can be added to drinks or placed under the tongue. These hemp derived products offer a more precise dosing method through the dropper provided in the bottle itself. There are also a large variety of potencies to choose from to help create that ideal D8 Experience.

When tincture drops are placed under the tongue, sublingually, it’s absorbed through a series of tiny blood vessels right under the surface. This absorption gets Delta 8 directly into the bloodstream quicker, leading users to feel the sensations and benefits of Delta 8 faster.  It’s one of the faster and more accurate ways to consume Delta 8 than other options.


Probably the most well known Delta 8 THC product is the vape cartridge. These carts are typically a glass cylinder filled with a thick oil, sometimes called a sauce, and a metal coil. When attached to a battery, users inhale around the cart’s mouthpiece while holding an activation button. This will trigger the coil to heat up and turn the sauce inside into a vapor that is then inhaled. Vaping is the fastest way to consume Delta 8 and begin to feel its effects only after a few minutes compared to an hour or more with other products.

The advantage of carts is their wide variety of strains/flavors and how discreet the carts themselves can be. Some batteries will vary in size but can typically fit in a pants pocket or a purse to increase the discreteness of D8 carts. They might not be the most cost effective product, but vape cartridges offer the widest variety of flavors to offer different effects.


Though they seem innocent enough, edibles are perhaps the strongest version and slowest to activate Delta 8 THC products. They may not have the highest concentration or potency as tinctures or oils, but because they go through the digestive system and need to be metabolized before feeling their effects, people tend to take more Delta 8 than expected. It can take up to 4 hours to feel the full effects of Delta 8 THC when eaten, which include cookies, brownies, and cereal treats in various flavors.


While gummies are considered edibles, they are categorized separately because of how small they are and the different process they go through. While baked goods need to bake in an oven to reach their final form, gummies are boiled together then chilled in a mold to get their shape. Additionally, each gummy is typically a dose, or half a dose, while baked goods typically offer 4 doses.

Gummies are also more commonly found and have a larger variety of flavors because of their simplicity and longer shelf life. It’s just important to remember that even one gummy can feel very powerful after a few hours, so don’t take too many.

If you think you either haven’t begun to feel the effects or you aren’t feeling them fast enough, its recommended to NOT take more. Wait an extra 30-60 minutes before taking any more gummies. You will most likely begin to feel the euphoric sensations of this cannabinoid if you give it a little more time. Gummies are potent, so even a little amount will go a long way, so just give them time to work their way through your digestive system – you won’t regret it.


The last common way Delta 8 is consumed is through sauces. Typically made from the same sauce found inside vape carts, sauces are simply jars filled with oil and any terpenes needed for any specific strain flavor. Sauce can be used for a dab ring and smoked that way, but it can also be used by individuals to create their own vape carts with their own flavors and concentrations. It adds a large amount of variety of options for those who are looking to create their own D8 options.

Delta 8 THC Takeaway

Delta 8 is an incredibly versatile and federally legal cannabinoid available across a majority of the country. It’s absorbed in a variety of different ways through a variety of products. D8 derived from hemp offers a relaxing full body experience where users say they are still aware of what is happening around them because of its lower potency. It’s half a Delta 9 THC high without any of the unwanted negative effects.

While it is a federally legal product, it’s always important to make sure you research the laws in your area as they frequently change, despite the DEA and the US Court of Appeals ruling Delta 8 THC as federally legal.

The options seem endless with what Delta 8 THC can offer users, and while research remains limited right now, anecdotal evidence supports the positive results users report

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.