Delta-8-THC: Delta-9-THC’s nicer younger sibling

When the federal farm bill passed in late 2018, CBD became widely available. Phenomwell opened a few months later, in March of 2019. By late 2019, CBD processors began to process hemp derived Delta-8 THC, and it’s been popular ever since.

Delta-8 resulted in a workaround for THC lovers in states that prohibit cannabis, like North Carolina — and it became popular here and in other states very quickly.

While the adoption of D8 happened fast, there was some skepticism. There’s research available on Delta-9 THC and CBD, but Delta-8 is new to the game, and there’s very little. 

There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence. People talk about it and write about it and patterns emerge. People say the effects of Delta-8 are someone milder, per milligram, than Delta-9 — and that it’s great for relaxation, anxiety, pain, and sleep.

That’s “what people say,” and now there’s some data to back up those claims.

This exploratory study — Delta-8-THC: Delta-9-THC’s nicer younger sibling? — is based on the results of online surveys and supports what we hear every day. People who use Delta-8 report increased relaxation, less pain, and a sense of euphoria. And there is less anxiety and paranoia that sometimes accompanies Delta-9.

When considering the laws that address these two very similar compounds, here are 3 concepts in which much irony can be found. Consider:

  • The molecules are almost the same. They are isomers, meaning they have the same chemical formula but are structurally different.
  • The plants are basically the same. The only difference is the amount of Delta-9 THC — above or below .03% — an arbitrary number that determines whether the same plant is called hemp or cannabis.
  • And the irony — the laws treat them completely differently. In some states, Delta 9 is legal and Delta 8 is not. In other states, Delta 8 is legal and Delta 9 is not.

It’s clear that these topsy turvy laws are kept in place by industries that want to protect their turf in an emerging marketplace. It’s also clear that a majority of Americans, and North Carolinians, want all cannabis to be legal and decriminalized. 

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