Delta-8 THC is a cannabinoid that's been gaining a lot of attention as a "legal way to get high."
You may be familiar with the cannabinoid THC—the main psychotropic compound in marijuana, which is still federally illegal but legal for medicinal and recreational use in some states.
There are many different variations of THC. Delta-9 THC is the most talked about and studied, but delta-8 is an interesting isomer that lends similar effects but without many of the undesirable side-effects of marijuana use.
In this article, we'll dive into what delta-8 THC feels like compared to delta-9 THC and discuss some of its uses for supporting a healthy and active lifestyle.
What Do Delta-8 And Delta-9 THC Have In Common?
You can find delta-8 and delta-9 THC in hemp and marijuana plants but in different concentrations.
Farm Bill compliant hemp plants can't have more than 0.3% THC (delta-9), and delta-8 is found in even fewer concentrations in hemp (0.1%).
Delta-8 and delta-9 are isomers of the same THC molecule, but the arrangement of their atoms is different. Delta-8 has a double carbon bond on the 8th chain, while delta-9 is on the 9th chain. These two compounds are so similar that sometimes third-party lab tests can't distinguish the two.
Because of their similar molecular shape, you can expect many of the same benefits from delta-8 THC and delta-9 THC.
Both delta-8 and delta-9 are psychotropic compounds. These molecules interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain to exert their effects on serotonin receptors, increasing appetite, changes in mood, and perception. However, the slight change in the double bond of the carbon chain is enough to change their effects on the body slightly.
How Does Delta-8 Get You High?
THC's psychotropic effects are caused by the interaction with the CB1 receptors in the brain.
CB1 and CB2 receptors belong to the endocannabinoid system, responsible for maintaining homeostasis (balance) in the body. It influences the release of nearly all neurotransmitters in the body, two of the key hormone releases involved with the high experienced from cannabis are dopamine and serotonin to elicit the feelings of euphoria and changes in our perception of vision, tastes, and scent.
The high from THC only lasts for a few hours, depending on whether it was inhaled (2–4 hours) or ingested (4–6 hours) and how much you consume.
What Does The Delta-8 THC High Feel Like?
Many people are turning to delta-8 THC as the legal loophole to enjoy the psychotropic effects of the cannabis plant. The best way we can describe the feelings of delta-8 THC is that it's like a cross between CBD and delta-9 THC.
Delta-8 interacts with the same receptors in the central nervous system as delta-9, but its psychotropic effects are less prominent, though many people claim it seems to last longer.
The delta-8 THC high is said to be much more subtle. People report that they feel less anxious and are more clear-headed when they take delta-8 than delta-9, making it the perfect daytime high and social activities.
Common Effects From Delta-8 THC High:
- Uplifted mood
- Stimulated hunger
- Sense of calm and contentment
- Increase in introspection
Delta-8, in essence, is a weaker version of THC that may make the psychotropic effects of cannabis more approachable for new users or people with low tolerances to THC. You'll need to take double the dose of delta-8 to feel the same effects level as you would with delta-9.
Since delta-8 does affect your sense of perception, you shouldn't drive while taking delta-8 THC.
How To Use Delta-8 THC
Delta-8 is a versatile cannabinoid that can be extracted and formulated into different products from oils, capsules, gummies, vape juices, and topicals—just the same way you'd enjoy your favorite CBD products.
The only difference is that delta-8 THC is not as widely available as CBD or delta-9 THC. The naturally low concentrations of delta-8 in hemp plants make it difficult to source and concentrate. When shopping for delta-8 products online, always make sure that it comes from hemp—not marijuana—or you could find yourself breaking federal laws.
The best way to make sure you know exactly what you're purchasing is to refer to the company's Certificate of Analysis by an accredited third-party lab. These tests will verify the cannabinoid profile and potency and point out any potentially harmful contaminants left over from the farming and extraction process.
Let's go over how to use the different formats of delta-8 THC.
1. Delta-8 THC Concentrates
Concentrates like glass, shatter, powders are made by isolating a single compound through multiple distillation techniques to get pure delta-8 THC. The tricky thing is that you can expect higher concentrations of delta-9 THC in some of these concentrates because it's very difficult to separate the two isomers. Make sure you read the Certificate of Analysis to ensure the product has the levels of delta-8 you're looking for.
Delta-8 THC concentrates are commonly smoked in a dab rig, vaped, or used in at-home cooking recipes. Smoking concentrates isn't for the faint of heart—it's the fastest and most potent method of administration, making it hard to take accurate doses in small increments.
2. Delta-8 THC Oil And Tinctures
Another popular delta-8 THC product is oils or tinctures. It's a combination of delta-8 THC-rich hemp extract and a carrier oil such as olive oil, hemp seed oil, or coconut oil.
Delta-8 THC oils can come in a range of potencies from 500 mg – 2000 mg +
You should choose an oil with a potency that's within the range of the doses you're after.
For example, if you'd like 50 mg per dose, sticking to oil with 1500 mg will give you 50 mg per dropper full. Doing this will help you achieve more accurate dosing and prove to be more cost-effective as it would take you roughly three dropper fulls to reach a 50 mg dose with a 500 mg bottle.
You can take oils and tinctures sublingually (under the tongue), where the cannabinoids can enter the bloodstream through the mucous membranes and network of microcapillaries for faster-acting effects, or you could add the drops to your food and drinks.
3. Delta-8 THC Edibles
Gummies, chocolates, and baked goods are a great introduction to the effects of delta-8 because it takes a lot of the guesswork out of figuring out your doses.
Delta-8 gummies contain a set amount of active ingredients, anywhere from 5–25 mg of gummies, and they taste great. Edibles tend to have a much longer on-set of effects. Depending on your metabolism, you'll start to feel it 20–45 minutes after eating them, and they gradually get stronger, and the high lasts much longer than smoking it.
4. Delta-8 THC Topicals
Applying delta-8 THC lotion or balms to your skin won't get you high, but it can provide powerful benefits towards muscle recovery and soothing muscle discomfort.
Rather than entering the bloodstream to exert its effects throughout the body, delta-8 interacts with endocannabinoid receptors on the skin to optimize the skin organ's function.
Topicals are also great for targetted effects as you can apply the delta-8 rub on the area of concern and reapply as needed without feeling intoxicated.
What Are The Common Side-Effects Of Delta-8 THC?
The possible adverse effects of delta-8 THC specifically isn't an area that's well researched, but it's understood to have very similar side-effects as delta-9 THC.
Some of the common negative effects of delta-8 include:
- Feelings of anxiousness
- Fast heart rate
- Low blood pressure
- Dry mouth
These listed effects are temporary, and no known long-term consequences surround delta-8 THC use, making it a considerably safe compound.
The biggest concern surrounding delta-8 THC is the lack of regulation around it. There are brands out there selling poorly sourced or even synthetic cannabinoids that pose health risks, which it's why it's so important to shop diligently for your delta-8 products by ensuring it comes from a reputable hemp source with third-party lab testing to verify its contents and safety.
Delta-8 THC Will Test Positive For THC In Drug Tests
Delta-8 THC will show up on most drug tests.
Regardless of the source of delta-8 (legal hemp crops or otherwise), most drug tests will be able to detect it. Drug tests are looking for THC metabolites. The body breaks down delta-8 and delta-9 the same way, turning them into THC-COOH, which is what these tests are looking for.
If you anticipate undergoing drug testing, steer clear of delta-8 THC products at least one month before your urine, blood, or saliva test. If you're getting a hair analysis test, you may need to stop all THC use 3–4 months before your test.
Neurogan's Delta-8 THC Products
Our research and development team has been at the forefront of finding innovative ways to leverage the holistic benefits of the hemp plant in easy-to-use products. Rather than offering delta-8 isolate products, our Delta-8 Gummies and Cooling Rub are made with full spectrum hemp extracts.
Full spectrum extracts contain minor cannabinoids and beneficial terpenes to amplify and balance the delta-8 experience through the entourage effect.
Delta-8 THC Calm Gummies
Our Delta-8 THC gummies feature the same best-selling gummy candy formula but are now made with our full-spectrum delta-8 THC extract for a mellow and uplifting experience.
These gummies are made to order in small batches by our team at a cGMP-certified facility in California, so they arrive fresh at your door.
Delta-8 THC Calm Cooling Rub
We've formulated the most potent delta-8 THC muscle rub on the market with 4000 mg of full spectrum delta-8 in a 2 oz container to maximize training and recovery.
The cooling rub is thick, but non-greasy allowing for a deep massage to deliver delta-8 THC to support a healthy inflammation response and muscle relaxation.
The Takeaway: What Does The Delta-8 THC High Feel Like?
The delta-8 high is very similar to the delta-9 THC from marijuana use, except it's much more mellow, clear-headed, and less likely to produce feelings of nervousness or anxiousness, which is a common effect of THC.
Delta-8 and delta-9 are so similar that it's difficult to differentiate the two when it comes to testing, which is why if you anticipate drug screening, you should avoid delta-8 THC. Regardless of whether it came from a legal hemp source or not, you could still fail your drug test with delta-8 THC in your system.
Make sure you shop for delta-8 THC carefully as there is an alarming amount of fake products and even potentially dangerous synthetic cannabinoids on the market, so shop from brands you trust that all provide third-party lab tests.