What is delta 8 THC?
Written by Cathy Rozyczko
Edited by Jason Brett on
November 3, 2021
Delta 8 THC is one of the many cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. Like cannabidiol aka CBD oil, delta 8 THC binds to receptors in the endocannabinoid system to support various bodily processes in mammals.
Delta 8 THC has been gaining popularity in the wellness world for its potential natural benefits, and it’s now being offered in the form of various dietary supplements.
As this cannabinoid becomes more mainstream, more and more people are trying to get their heads around what delta 8 THC does and how it can affect the body, especially before they invest in supplements…
Legality in the US surrounding delta 8 THC is a changing landscape, and unlike CBD oil, delta 8 THC does induce psychoactivity, although markedly less than its famous delta 9 cousin (this claim is largely from anecdotal evidence, which we’ll get to later…)
We explore everything you need to know about delta 8 THC, so you can adopt a good understanding of what your options are.
Note that scientific research on delta 8 THC is still in its infancy; it doesn’t yet have the data to back up its safety or efficacy as a supplement.
Remember this content is not to be taken as medical advice, and you should speak with your doctor before beginning any new health regimen.
Research: Possible Delta 8 THC benefits
While delta 8 THC shows promise as a therapeutic phytochemical, a scant amount of scientific study has been devoted to this cannabinoid alone. Usually, research that shows positive therapeutic potential for delta 8 THC has been conducted in tandem with other cannabinoids like CBG. Nevertheless, the available scientific literature points to delta 8 THC as potentially beneficial in the following ways:
Delta 8 THC Possibly Therapeutic for Cancer
In this study, delta 8 THC was given in conjunction with other cannabinoids to rats with cancerous tumors. Rats who were administered delta 8 THC had reduced cancerous growth and increased survival time. Much more research into delta 8 THC specifically for cancer needs to be done before undeniable conclusions can be made (not to mention human studies), but the current information is promising.
Delta 8 THC for Nausea and Vomiting
Delta 8 THC was administered to children aged 3-13 with cancer in this study. Researchers noticed that vomiting was eliminated entirely and that side effects in the children from delta 8 THC were ‘negligible’. And these clinical trials for delta 8 THC also showed it to be an effective anti-nausea treatment for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Because these particular studies examined the effects of treatment-induced vomiting, more research needs to be performed on delta 8 THC’s anti-nausea properties in individuals without cancer. Again, the current results are still promising.
Delta 8 THC for Brain Health
According to the NIH National Cancer Institute, delta 8 THC is recognized as having potential neuroprotective properties. Any compound that promotes neuroprotection works by preventing the death of neurons (brain cells) by intervening and inhibiting ‘the pathogenic cascade that results in cell dysfunction and eventual death’. Potential neuroprotection from delta 8 THC is one of the driving reasons the cannabinoid is so intriguing to cannabis researchers.
While delta 8 THC shows tremendous promise as a therapeutic cannabinoid, more research needs to be conducted (especially in humans) to fully understand its natural benefits.
Common questions about delta 8 THC
Will delta 8 THC show up on a drug test?
Potentially. Most drug tests will pick up on delta 8 THC in order to check for its molecular cousin, the sometimes-illegal delta 9 THC. Because the two cannabinoids are very similar, delta 8 THC has the potential to show up on a drug test. Also keep in mind that different people metabolize cannabinoids differently, meaning your experience with drug testing may be different from what you read online or hear from others…
Delta 8 vs Delta 9 THC: What’s the difference?
Delta 9 THC, the famous cannabinoid that gives marijuana users psychoactive effects, is in the same molecular family as delta 8 THC. Their close relation means that both cannabinoids have similar effects. Both cause psychoactivity. But while the physiological effects of delta 9 THC have been heavily documented, the same cannot be said for delta 8 THC. Most information regarding its effects is anecdotal, and ranges from people saying delta 8 provides less paranoia to testimonials that claim delta 8 actually heightened anxiety. Delta 8 and delta 9 are different primarily because of their chemical structure, but here is a useful comparison:
Delta 8 THC- mildly psychoactive; limited studies; legal according to federal law; illegal in certain states
Delta 9 THC- very psychoactive; extensive studies; illegal according to federal law for quantities exceeding 0.3%; legal in certain states
Is delta 8 THC legal?
According to the 2018 Farm Bill, delta 8 THC is technically legal at the federal level in the US. However, delta 8 THC is currently illegal in the following states, who’ve noted a lack of sufficient research into psychoactive properties of the cannabinoid: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, New York, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, and Utah. If you live in one of these listed states, you will not be able to order delta 8 THC online.
Does delta 8 THC make you high?
Like delta 9 THC, delta 8 THC has psychoactive properties. The extent of how psychoactive the cannabinoid actually is has yet to be properly studied. At this point, most evidence about how delta 8 THC makes people feel is anecdotal, with some reporting a downgraded delta-9 THC experience and others reporting increased levels of anxiety.
In short, yes, delta 8 THC has the potential to get you high. How this high will affect you cannot as of yet be quantified by any reliable source.
What’s safer, CBD or delta 8 THC?
Unlike delta 8 THC, CBD has been extensively studied by the scientific and medical community for therapeutic use. CBD has exponentially more studies to back up its safety, lack of negative side effects, lack of psychoactivity (CBD won’t get you high), and lack of addictive properties. Because of this large discrepancy between the scientific literature on both cannabinoids, CBD is unequivocally a safer option than delta 8 THC as a supplement.
Popular delta 8 THC supplements
Even though delta 8 THC hasn’t undergone a fraction of the scientific scrutiny of cannabinoids like CBD, delta 8 supplements are popping up everywhere among supplement companies. Here’s a description of the most popular delta 8 THC products on the market today:
Delta 8 THC Gummies
As a COR staffer once said, “Adults love gummies. They just do.” Indeed, CBD gummies have become insanely popular as a way to supplement your diet, along with vitamin gummies, probiotic gummies, and more. It was only a matter of time before delta 8 THC gummies hit online shelves. Users choose delta 8 THC gummies for their convenience, accurate dosing, and pleasant taste.
Delta 8 Flower
Delta 8 THC flower is another popular choice among delta 8 enthusiasts. Like delta 9 THC, delta 8 THC must be heated in a process called decarboxylation to unleash its psychoactive effects. Smoking hemp flower is a popular and often ritualistic choice for many cannabinoid users, making delta 8 flower an appealing option. Like the online market for CBD hemp flowers, you’ll find brands selling different strains with varying strengths and terpene content.
Delta 8 CBD Products
A big 2021 trend in the supplement space is combining delta 8 THC with one of the world’s most popular therapeutic cannabinoids: CBD. While full spectrum CBD oil products may contain trace amounts of delta 8, the delta 8 + CBD products out there are infused with pure delta 8 in higher concentrations. For example, a cannabinoid profile for a full spectrum CBD product will often show concentrations under 0.3% delta 8 THC. A delta 8 + CBD product like this one below has 5% by delta 8 thc concentration by volume.
Remember that CBD has been extensively studied to have minimal negative side effects, non-psychoactive properties, and no addictive qualities. The same cannot be said for delta 8 THC, so though it is a popular and promising supplement, prospective users should proceed with caution until more data can be gathered as to the safety and efficacy of delta 8.
Wrap-up: Is delta 8 THC safe to take as a supplement?
Not enough scientific research has been published to support the safety and efficacy of cannabinoid delta 8 THC as a nutritional supplement. Plus, there’s not yet a clear, quantifiable understanding of the extent of delta 8 THC’s psychoactive effects. That said, the research that does exist is somewhat promising. Delta 8 THC products are legal at the federal level and offered by various supplement companies. But delta 8 THC is not legal in all 50 states, so proceed with caution when buying delta 8 THC online.
+ 11 sources
Munson, A E et al. “Antineoplastic activity of cannabinoids.” Journal of the National Cancer Institute vol. 55,3 (1975): 597-602. doi:10.1093/jnci/55.3.597
Abrahamov, A et al. “An efficient new cannabinoid antiemetic in pediatric oncology.” Life sciences vol. 56,23-24 (1995): 2097-102. doi:10.1016/0024-3205(95)00194-b
Comparison of Delta-8-Thc to Ondansetron in the Prevention of ACUTE Nausea from Moderately Emetogenic Chemotherapy - Full Text View.” ClinicalTrials.gov
NCI Drug Dictionary.” National Cancer Institute
Anthony H.V. Schapira, Chapter 18 - Neuroprotection in Parkinson's Disease, Blue Books of Neurology, Butterworth-Heinemann, Volume 34, 2010, Pages 301-320
Peter Grinspoon, MD. “Beyond Cbd: Here Come the Other Cannabinoids, but Where's the Evidence?” Harvard Health, 23 Mar. 2021
Varanasi, Swathi. “Is Delta-8 Legal? What Does That Mean for Drug Tests? .” The GoodRx Prescription Savings Blog, 11 Aug. 2021
United States Department of Agriculture. Farm Bill
Amir Englund, et al. The effect of five day dosing with THCV on THC-induced cognitive, psychological and physiological effects in healthy male human volunteers: A placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover pilot trial. Journal of Psychopharmacology sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav DOI: 10.1177/0269881115615104
Sullivan, Kaitlin. “Delta-8 Thc Is Legal in Many States, but Some Want to Ban It.” NBCNews.com, NBCUniversal News Group, 28 June 2021
Reynolds, Kevin. “Delta-8 in Texas remains classified as "illegal" after judge denies request from hemp firm.” The Texas Tribune. 25 Oct 2021
Learn More About CBD
Athletes who participate in impact sports put a great deal of stress on their minds and bodies. Unfortunately, current methods ...Learn More
If you spend a lot of time with horses, then you know that they are incredibly intelligent and sensitive animals ...Learn More
With the passage of the Farm Bill in 2018, CBD became effectively legal in the United States. This ground-breaking legislation ...Learn More
All professional sports require a certain amount of athleticism and endurance, but there is perhaps no sport as physically and ...Learn More
Elevated cholesterol is something many people will have to contend with during the course of their life. So what is ...Learn More
If you’re a regular CBD oil shopper, you may have come across the US Hemp Authority certification seal on CBD ...Learn More
CBD oil is increasingly popular these days; there is a large market of CBD oil products, along with a growing ...Learn More
Whether your menstrual cycle brings abdominal heaviness, mild cramping, or several days of intense, throbbing pain, you're likely not looking ...Learn More
Anyone investigating the therapeutic potential of CBD has likely encountered more than a few sources claiming CBD products are legal ...Learn More
CBD and yoga can – and should – go hand-in-hand. These two vitality boosters are the perfect complement to one ...Learn More
The hemp plant harbors many potential benefits when cultivated and processed cleanly. While the euphoria cannabis is known for comes ...Learn More
CBD oil products are everywhere now, but ambiguity surrounding the use of CBD oil still abounds, especially in the world ...Learn More
Imagine this: you're curled up on your comfortable couch, surrounded by soft throw pillows, sipping a cup of hot chocolate ...Learn More
Though many people are still learning about cannabidiol (CBD) and its many natural benefits, the naturally occurring chemical compound has ...Learn More
A lot of people ask this question - is CBD oil legal in Florida? It appears that there has been ...Learn More
If you're just starting to learn about CBD and its potential benefits, you likely have many questions. There is so ...Learn More
Every plant on the planet has a purpose. Every piece of the ecosystem serves a purpose, and some lucky plants ...Learn More
For decades, people have been raving about the endless benefits of the hemp plant. Surprisingly though, some people may still ...Learn More
I’ve been poking around the interweb a bit for travelling with CBD tips and was a little surprised… I think ...Learn More
Delta 8 THC is the hot new cannabinoid on the wellness scene. As was the case with CBG a couple ...Learn More
The term ‘seed to sale’ is thrown around a lot in CBD marketing. CBD companies that claim to be seed ...Learn More
We don’t have to tell you. You already know that CBD oil is one of the most important wellness discoveries ...Learn More
Hemp CBD has a confusing history of legalization that it shares with its intoxicating cousin, marijuana. Both the federal and ...Learn More
Like many people, it is likely that you have seen an increase in the popularity of CBD in the last ...Learn More
These days, it seems like everyone is talking about CBD oil and the benefits it can provide. Yet, if you ...Learn More
If you are interested in using CBD oil, but you live in Tennessee, you may have a lot of questions ...Learn More
Although the CBD industry continues to grow by leaps and bounds, many people interested in the cannabinoid's therapeutic potential are ...Learn More
If you live in Virginia, and you are interested in buying CBD oil, you may be wondering several things. For ...Learn More
CBD oil products have come to the forefront of discussions about non-traditional solutions to anxiety, pain, and other ailments that ...Learn More
CBD oil products have gained popularity in Michigan and across the nation because of the potential benefits they offer consumers ...Learn More
For fans of soccer (or football as most of the world calls it), there is likely a lot of speculation ...Learn More
A hemp flower is the most basic form of CBD and serves as the foundation for all other CBD products ...Learn More
The safety, legality, and absence of mind-altering properties make cannabidiol (CBD) a popular choice for those who want to reap ...Learn More
Between 2021 and 2027, the weight loss industry will benefit from a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.6%. As ...Learn More
If you live in Ohio and you are curious about using CBD, you may have a lot of questions. For ...Learn More
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of more than 100 active compounds found in the cannabis plant. CBD oil manufacturers extract cannabidiol ...Learn More
If you were to ask a group of CBD enthusiasts for product recommendations, you'd soon discover that CBD users seem ...Learn More
In 2014, when the industry was still quite new, CBD generated nearly 50 million dollars in sales. That's pretty impressive ...Learn More
Industrial hemp was one of the very first domesticated crops, a plant harvested throughout history for its protein-rich seeds and ...Learn More
As you have likely heard by now, CBD has quickly become one of the biggest trends in the world of ...Learn More
Surprisingly enough, there are a lot of misconceptions floating around when it comes to cannabidiol. Cannabidiol, more commonly known as ...Learn More
CBD products are becoming increasingly popular in 2021, and CBD concentrates are no exception. If you've thought about trying CBD ...Learn More
Let's talk self care. Though you might think of self care as simply "pampering" yourself, it goes way deeper than ...Learn More
Texas Governor Abbott signed legislation clarifying which hemp products are legal and which are not. Looking for CBD in Texas? ...Learn More
CBD oil has many helpful-- not to mention, natural-- benefits physically and mentally. CBD has been heavily studied to relieve ...Learn More
If you are an avid runner, you are always looking for safe and healthy ways to improve your performance and ...Learn More
Can you use CBD if you are sober? Recovery from drug or alcohol addiction isn't just about abstinence. For many, ...Learn More
If there's anything we've learned from the last few years of incredible development, it's that the cannabis plant can take ...Learn More
By now, you are probably aware that there are a lot of CBD products on the market that can help ...Learn More
If you have never tried CBD oil and you live in Indiana, you probably have a lot of questions. You ...Learn More
CBD (short for cannabidiol) has become an alternative consideration for many parents around the world. Countless families swear by CBD ...Learn More
Birth control remains one of the greatest biomedical advances in the last century, giving women and couples the opportunity to ...Learn More
When shopping for CBD, it's essential to find the best product for your needs and your lifestyle. While CBD tinctures ...Learn More
For people who are considering CBD or have already started trying what is available, one of the most common questions ...Learn More
CBD oil is well known for its ability to regulate pain and inflammation, making it a valuable tool in the ...Learn More
Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS) is a true mystery. It can pop up out of nowhere for chronic cannabis users, and ...Learn More
When you first begin researching CBD oil, it can be hard to understand what you are reading. What exactly is ...Learn More
Death by overdose has become the largest killer of Americans under the age of 50, and with opioids responsible for ...Learn More
The most famous cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is most widely known for its mind-altering, high-inducing properties, ...Learn More
Because harvested and dried cannabis or hemp material only contains trace amounts of cannabigerol (CBG), it is often considered to ...Learn More
With cannabidiol (CBD) oil becoming more widely available, it is being sought out by an ever-growing number of people due ...Learn More
In 2018, the United States saw exponential growth in CBD oil product development and sales. Halfway through the year, the ...Learn More
The cannabis sativa plant contains hundreds of cannabinoids, each one presenting its own unique qualities and potential benefits. You may ...Learn More
Cannabinoids have taken over the natural health discussion, and with good reason. Research is continuously finding new ways in which ...Learn More
One of the lesser-known cannabinoids, cannabichromene (CBC) may be able to do some pretty incredible things. Recent scientific study has ...Learn More
Learning about the phytocannabinoids that exist in the cannabis plant family can feel a little bit like sifting through alphabet ...Learn More
Cannabidiol (CBD), is becoming widely used for its reported therapeutic benefits, which include pain reduction, nausea relief, and mood elevation ...Learn More
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is probably the best-known cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. THC is the psychoactive, intoxicating, and mind-altering compound ...Learn More
Of the many phytocannabinoids found in cannabis plants, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are likely the most well-known. That's why ...Learn More
The role of “Big Pharma” in healthcare is a contentious subject and one that’s working its way into discussions around ...Learn More
With more and more research coming out that shines a light on the reported health benefits of CBD and essential ...Learn More
Researchers are finding that CBD oil may be able to treat the symptoms of a whole host of diseases and ...Learn More
When you first decide to use CBD oil, it can be hard to know where to start. With so many ...Learn More
Health supplements are becoming increasingly commonplace as average Americans struggle to meet their recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals ...Learn More
If you've spent any time reading about CBD oil and cannabis lately, it is likely you've seen terpenes mentioned more ...Learn More
If you’re interested in purchasing CBD oil but aren’t sure if it’s legal in your state, you’ve come to the ...Learn More
The CBD oil industry is one of the fastest-growing in North America and as such, it should come as no ...Learn More
Not long after the first cannabinoid was isolated from the cannabis plant, scientists discovered the human body produces similar substances ...Learn More
Those friendly neighbors on the northern U.S. border have a reputation for being fairly liberal minded. In fact, as of ...Learn More
As people continue to abandon cigarettes, vaping is becoming increasingly popular. And, as the range of vape oils, vape juices, ...Learn More
Ready to make your first CBD oil purchase but aren’t sure where to start? Well, you’ve come to the right ...Learn More
With so many CBD oil products and delivery formats available for purchase, knowing which one is right for you can ...Learn More
The hemp plant produces flowers just like its THC-toting cousin marijuana. Typically, this flower is processed and cannabidiol (CBD) is ...Learn More
CBD oil drops are one of the most popular ways to take cannabidiol (CBD). They are a cost-effective and convenient ...Learn More
If you’re new to the world of CBD oil, there’s a lot of new terminology to take in; one term ...Learn More
Is there nothing cannabidiol can’t do? The wonder compound—more commonly known as CBD—has been hailed as everything from a digestive ...Learn More
As an athlete, the less time you can spend doing online research, the more time you can devote to your ...Learn More
CBD oil microdosing is a concept that gets thrown around a lot these days, but what does it actually mean? ...Learn More
Because CBD oil has also been shown to reduce inflammation and swelling while promoting cell reparation, CBD topicals (e.g. balms, ...Learn More
When investigating cannabis products, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by all the varieties available. Cannabis oil, hemp seed oil, CBD ...Learn More
People are quickly becoming aware of the potential benefits of CBD oil, but this awareness has lead to one very ...Learn More
Today, it’s hard to go a day without hearing something about CBD oil, and for good reason. Cannabidiol (CBD) is ...Learn More
There are tens of millions of Americans who smoke cigarettes and millions of others who are suffering from smoking-related diseases ...Learn More
There are two main types of cannabidiol (CBD) extract utilized by vendors - purified, crystalline isolate, often labeled as ‘CBD ...Learn More
With frequent news reports about newly discovered uses for cannabidiol (CBD) in healthcare, a number of parents are investigating its ...Learn More
There is an increasing amount of coverage in the media about CBD oil and its potential uses and benefits. Everywhere ...Learn More
CBD oil interacts with the brain and central nervous system to produce a number of beneficial outcomes from reducing inflammation ...Learn More
The short answer: Yes...and no. If you’ve been following the national conversation about cannabis, you may have felt confused at ...Learn More
If you’re an athlete or fitness enthusiast who has heard about the many health benefits of cannabidiol (CBD), you may ...Learn More