Delta-8 THC has made a grand entrance into the cannabis industry in the last year or so, and many of us have questions about it. What exactly is it? Why can anyone over 18 or 21 get it without a medical card? Do medical marijuana patients who use delta-8 need an experienced cannabis nurse to navigate them? These are just a few questions we have about delta-8, so let's look at the answers.
Delta-8 THC is derived from CBD that's been extracted from hemp. Hemp was actually removed from the Controlled Substances Act's (CSA) definition of marijuana in a federal bill passed in 2018. That same bill also removed "tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) in hemp" from the CSA's definition of THC. On the other hand, the 1986 Federal Analogue Act regulates synthetically made "designer drugs." Under the Federal Analogue Act, any drugs that are similar in chemical structure and have the same effect as a controlled substance must be treated the same as a controlled substance. This is all pretty complex and technical stuff, but it appears the cannabis industry has found a loophole, however temporary or long-term it might be.
Because delta-8 THC comes from hemp cannabis, it is similar in chemical structure and effects to delta-9 THC, which is naturally present in both hemp and marijuana. However, delta-8 THC is about 60% as potent as delta-9 and reportedly does not cause the anxious or paranoid effects that some people report when using delta-9. Make no mistake, though. Delta-8 is still potent, and it can still get someone high and cause mild euphoria, happiness, uplifting feelings, and relief from some symptoms such as pain and insomnia. The side effects are similar, too, and include dry mouth, red eyes, and "the munchies."
What are the most important takeaways for you?
Dosing: As we mentioned before, delta-8 has about 60% potency of delta-9. Manufacturers have already done the calculations, so that THC gummies often come in 10mg gummies, while delta-8 gummies often come in 25mg gummies. Based on these calculations, the dosing is similar. If you take half a gummie for one, you will likely need half a gummie of the other. HOWEVER, please know that this is not an absolute and that there is very little research on delta-8.
Legal: Delta-8 is currently legal in all but 11 states. If full-spectrum hemp is legal in your state, then delta-8 is likely legal as well, but the age limits may be 18 or 21 depending on where you live. Always stay on top of the legal status, as this is expected to change as states work to catch up with this craze. It is also important to remember that if you are drug tested for work or school, delta-8 will present on a drug screen as THC.
Safety: Purchase delta-8 from a seller that provides a link or QR code to a third-party Certificate of Analysis (C of A) to confirm the product has the cannabinoids in it that it claims and that it's free of pesticides and heavy metals and does not contain unknown compounds or is filled with essential oils. In addition, be sure the lab tested it for potency and purity.
In the cannabis world, learning about individual components is vitally important, and it's what an experienced cannabis nurse does. At 2 Leaf Nurses, we are here to provide you with the most current medical cannabis education about both medical marijuana and hemp-based products so that you are equipped to journey into the medical marijuana dispensary with confidence and understanding. Let us help you with an individual plan to help ensure you are safe and successful.
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