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What is Delta-8: The Legal High Spread Across America

It's no secret that hemp and cannabis have been booming in the last decade. While this has been great for consumers, the sudden surplus of industrial hemp has driven the price of hemp derived products like CBD down. In order to keep generating a healthy revenue, some of these producers turned to creating the THC isomer known at Delta-8-THC.

Delta-8 THC hype has found its way across America as a legal alternative to traditional THC products. This is partly because of a legal loophole that makes Delta-8 THC legal in most states while Delta-9 (Regular THC) is still regulated and illegal on a federal level.

Most Delta-8-THC Is Made From Cannabidol (CBD)

Most Delta-8-THC is synthesized out of Cannabidiol (CBD) by using an organic solvent and an acid as a catalyst in what is known as an exothermic reaction.

When synthesized and processed properly, Delta-8-THC has been shown to have a few benefits over Delta-9-THC (traditional THC). Although in researching for this article we became aware that many of the products being sold as Delta-8-THC in the United States are not as pure as the labels would have us think.

Always verify you are purchasing certified and tested products from reputable sources. According to lab testing, much of the Delta-8-THC products available are impure via VerdeLabs testing.

As said above, the Delta-8-THC hype has found its way across America as a legal alternative to traditional THC products. This is partly because of a legal loophole that makes Delta-8-THC legal in most states while Delta-9 (Regular THC) is still regulated and illegal on a federal level.

With the combination of an over-abundance of CBD oil plus plummeting cannabis prices, manufacturers had a lot more CBD oil on their hands than they could deal with.

The solution to the over-supply problem became clear when manufacturers realized their CBD oil could be processed into a Delta-9-THC analogue: Delta-8-THC. This compound could still be sold in states that still prohibit traditional THC products.

Naturally what happened next was a flood of Delta-8 products plus every fake and knock off product that could make a crook a quick dollar. Many products being sold as Delta-8 on the black market are not testing as pure Delta-8 if at all.

Only buy from brands who are transparent about their process and thoroughly test their products.

So… now that’s out of the way

What is Delta-8-THC?

It can be found within the cannabis plant naturally but only found in trace amounts. For this reason manufacturers turned to a process which changes common cannabinoids (like CBD or Delta-9-THC) into Delta-8.

The process required to make this chemical change involves a few different (and potentially dangerous) steps which, without going into too much detail are:

  • Dissolve cannabinoid into a non-polar organic solvent

  • Add acid to solvent solution

  • Maintain an accurate temperature of 100 degrees for 18 hours (any fluctuations can change the molecular structure)

  • Once the chemical reaction is complete the solutions is washed in sodium bicarbonate.

Chromatographic testing is needed to see the purity of the end product. Depending on what combination of different acid and solvents used, there can be different residuals byproducts still left in the solution. Many testing facilities do not test for some of these products, so it is imperative every producer is transparent with their processes and is thoroughly tested.

One of the biggest problems with Delta-8 is that many of the testing facilities do not actually test for some of the solvents and acids a producer might use so it becomes the responsibility of the producer to let the testing facility what chemicals were used in their process.

So, what if you find real, quality Delta-8-THC?

What does Delta-8 do?

Delta-8-THC binds to the CB1 receptors found primarily in the brain. These receptors are the same ones to which Delta-9 (regular THC) bind. This causes a similar but less intense high which is associated with THC consumption.

Many of the therapeutic effects of regular THC can be found present in delta-8 because they both bind to the same receptor (CB1).

Some possible therapeutic uses:

  • Pain- Delta-8 helps especially in the gastrointestinal tract and is said to be even more effective than CBD in treating pain.

  • Inflammation

  • Nausea – THC is known for its anti-nausea properties including delta-8.

  • Anxiety – Unlike delta-9-THC, Delta-8 is known for its antiemetic properties. While regular delta-9-THC causes anxiety, Delta-8 helps with anxiety.

  • Appetite support – CB1 receptors also regulate appetite among other things which means delta-8 is a great alternative to regular THC if you need appetite support but do not want to feel the high associated with traditional THC.

  • Memory – Some cannabinoids including delta-8 have been shown to have neuroprotective effects which can aid in memory and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Does Delta-8 get you high?

Yes, although not as strong as regular delta-9-THC, Delta-8 does get you high. The effects of this high are comparatively muted compared to traditional THC. This is a double edged sword for consumers.

On one hand, some people only want to get “high” but live in a state where traditional cannabis is still illegal. Delta-8 is a legal compound which can arguably take the place of regular THC products in the way it causes euphoria and relaxation.

On the other hand, the people who are looking for a cannabinoid-based therapy, Delta-8 can be a good alternative because you still receive many of the same benefits but without as much impairment.

But it is also wise to keep in mind that the therspeutic effects of the cannabis plant are much better expressed through the use of a full spectrum product which contains other cannabinoids. Using a full spectrum product has been shown to be much more effective therapeutically than isolated compounds. Read more about the entourage effect.


If you are currently looking for quality Delta-8, our research shows that 3CHI is one of the most trusted and tested products on the market. 3CHI Delta-8-THC is made by a biochemist with the knowledge and equipment to make pure, quality product.

Find more information and products for sale at the 3CHI website.


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