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What is Delta 8?

Delta 8 THC
If you have ever used cannabis either for recreational or medical purposes, you probably have heard of CBD and THC. The former is credited for several therapeutic and medicinal effects, while the latter is best known for its psychotropic properties. Unknown to many users, CBD and THC are just two of the 144 discovered cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. Some other rarely talked about cannabinoids include CBG, CBC, and THCV.
The psychoactive effect of delta-9-THC is well-documented, and it is basically the only compound that comes to mind whenever the 'high' influence of cannabis is being discussed. Like many people, you are not alone if you think D9 is the only compound with a psychoactive effect in cannabis. A relatively new kid on the block, which can be aptly referred to as its cousin, is delta-8-THC. 
While D9 is often available in a significant quantity in cannabis and hemp, delta-8-THC is present in these plants in trace amounts, well below 1%. For commercial usage, the new famed THC is obtained through several processes: extraction, distillation, isolation, synthesizing, and refining to get a substantial concentration of the cannabinoid. Despite the apparent resemblance in structure and similar effects with the famous THC, Delta-8-THC comes with its own unique and exciting results. Let's dive into the qualities that make the compound an appealing prospect for medicinal as well as recreational use, benefits, how to lay your hands on it, and more. 
What is delta 8?
The difference between Delta-8 and Delta-9 is subtle: Both are psychoactive, but Delta 8 is about half as potent as Delta-9. Many people say that Delta-8 is a smoother, less anxious experience with no paranoia compared to Delta-9. It also seems to have more medicinal effects than regular THC, such as better pain relief.
Delta-8-THC is often regarded as the analog of delta-9-THC. The degradation of D9, often after a long time of storage, yields D8 rather than cannabinoid synthesizing enzymes like other cannabinoids. As expected, they are similar in structure and properties. Currently, there has been only limited research on its medicinal benefits and effects. The findings and anecdotal evidence with delta-9-THC give us a good insight into this exciting cannabinoid and its works. The little yet significant difference between the two isomers stems from double in each compound. Delta-8 has it on the 8th carbon while it is on the 9th carbon in delta 9.
Like most other cannabinoids, the origin of delta-8 can be traced to cannabigerol acid (CBGA). First, delta-9 is formed and later degraded to delta-8 through decarboxylation. The process can be replicated to produce consistent and higher quantities through CO2 extraction and biochemical synthesis. On its part, it does not oxidize. It is stable, making it great for pharmacological use.
As stated by the National Cancer Institute, delta-8 is an analog of THC. Its properties include anxiolytic, analgesic, antiemetic, appetite-stimulating, and neuroprotective. Apart from the less psychotropic property, it has no dreaded side effects of delta-9, such as anxiety and paranoia.
What is the difference between delta-8 and delta-9?
The difference between delta-9-THC and delta-8-THC can be traced to the slight variation in their chemical structures. Both isomers have a double bond on a carbon chain. As it can be deduced from their names, the more known isomer has a double bond on the 9th carbon, delta-8 contains a double bond on the 8th carbon. The small variation makes a world of difference in how these cannabinoids interact with the human brain and body. It determines how they bind with the body's endocannabinoid receptors and subsequent effects on the body.   
Delta-9 primarily triggers the CB1 receptor of the endocannabinoid system, while delta-8 acts on both the CB1 and CB2 receptors. As a result of much stronger bonds between its chains, delta-8 has a stable and prolonged shelf life. That characteristic makes it a more suitable compound for medicinal use as it is not susceptible to degradation. 
The most apparent difference for cannabis users is the experience is the 'high' experience of these two cannabinoids. Delta-8 has been found to give similar but less intense and functionality-impairing than delta-9.

What states is Delta-8 legal in?
For many people, the legal status of delta-8 is confusing at best. Technically, it is legal to use the compound either for recreational or therapeutic benefits. That is made possible thanks to the Farm bill passed in 2018. Before that, all hemp and marijuana were outlawed in all 50 states in America. 

According to the federal law, all cannabis plants containing less than 0.3% of Delta-9-THC are removed from illegal substances and available for all types of uses. With that law, hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) and its derivatives, including other THC forms, specifically delta-8, are open to being purchased and used across all states. 

With all that said, the fact that delta-8 is allowed federally does not make it legal in your state. The law covering the selling, buying, and using of cannabis and its derivatives varies from state to state and overrides the federal law. The bill also gives the states or Indian tribes the freedom to have primary regulation over the sales and use of hemp and its derivatives and deciding the right testing procedure for the concentration of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. 

Currently, the manufacture, sales, and use of delta-8-THC are legal in 38 states. Therefore producing, selling, or possession is technically legal in your States, except if you reside in Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Arkansas, Montana, California, Colorado, Delaware, Nevada, Iowa, Nebraska, Idaho, or Mississippi. 

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