What is Delta 8 THC?

delta 8 distillate syringe from fern valley farms

Just as the “CBD craze” proved to be more than a trend, the excitement surrounding the appearance and use of Delta 8 THC is already showing signs of another key cannabinoid becoming firmly established as a valid and popular compound for consumers. Because it’s new, and also because it is another form of THC (which remains illegal in some states), there is a lot of confusion mixed in with the excitement over this recently discovered cannabinoid. 

Part of the confusion can be credited (yet again) to law enforcement agencies ill-prepared to face the emergence of another form of THC. So rather than depend once more on governmental guidance in areas well beyond their expertise, we grabbed our own shovel and dug deeper into Delta 8 THC.

Where Has Delta 8 THC Been All This Time?

As cannabinoid enthusiasts are aware, the burst in research related to the cannabis plant (and, by virtue, its close cultural relation, the hemp plant) continues to uncover more valuable and fascinating information about this nearly miraculous plant. It wasn’t that long ago that most people considered the difference between the natural cannabis plant and its cultivated cousin, hemp, was that cannabis contains THC in abundance, while hemp was cultivated to exclude the presence of THC (or at least reduce it to a nominal amount of 0.3% or less).

Then researchers got on board and began discovering so much more in the cannabis and hemp plants than merely THC and CBD cannabinoids. In fact, to date, more than 120 cannabinoids have been identified, with lots of additional research and tests looming in the near future. Two recently discovered cannabinoids that are now getting more press coverage are CBG and CBN, with lots of new research uncovering new potential benefits and therapeutic advantages.

It was during the hundreds of thousands of hours of research and investigations of the cannabis plant when Delta 8 THC made its presence finally known. Another minor cannabinoid, this THC-laced compound also exists naturally inside the cannabis plant, but in trace amounts as compared to its swaggering bigger brother, Delta 9 THC. Interestingly, the majority of Delta 8 THC is derived from hemp plants, which further muddies the legal picture, since hemp is legal in the eyes of the federal government.

How Can Delta 8 THC Be Legal?

If you are like most people, it appeared as if the law differentiated between cannabis and hemp plants based upon the presence or absence of THC. Hemp growers focused on growing hemp flower strains with higher concentrations of CBD (and, later, other cannabinoids, such as CBG and CBN), and the public went wild with excitement and gratification as CBD products hit the marketplace and anecdotal wellness claims began mounting at ever faster paces.

In tandem with public enthusiasm for hemp products was a marked increase in research and development of CBD products. With the backing and reputation of science forging a significant lead, the amount of information concerning potential CBD benefits also snowballed, along with continuing discoveries of new cannabinoids. 

One of the minor cannabinoids recently uncovered was Delta 8 THC. Its initial discovery didn’t set off any great alarms; rather, it was generally recognized to be a weakened version of Delta 9 THC. (The difference between Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC is determined by the location of double bonds in their molecular chains of carbon atoms: Delta 8 has its double bond located on the eighth carbon while Delta 9 is located on the 9th carbon.)

At the time of discovery, no one considered Delta 8 THC to be the perfect compound to bridge between the effects of CBD and Delta 9 THC. By this stage, there was a general consensus that CBD did indeed deliver noticeable effects when consumed, but without providing the psychotropic effects which was previously the sole domain of Delta 9 THC.

However, throughout this process, there was a general understanding that if hemp plants kept their THC content beneath 0.3%, there were no legal issues to overcome. But thanks to the ineptitude and ignorance of our legislative bodies, the emergence of Delta 8 THC created a huge gray area in the rules originally established by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) which defined hemp as “All derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent.” Notice that only Delta 9 THC is specifically addressed, meaning Delta 8 THC hovers in legal limbo as neither approved or disapproved. 

As is typical when uneducated lawmakers bumble their way through legislation prohibiting something they don’t fully understand, they believe specific definitions will make it difficult, if not impossible, for potential lawbreakers to get around. Now the DEA is bemoaning its prudish exactitude and trying to craft language to potentially rope Delta 8 in with its bigger, badder brother, Delta 9 THC.

The Changing Tide of Attitudes Towards THC

It may be way too little and far too late for the DEA. Always over-aggressive in their approach towards a modest little plant capable of packing a punch filled with giggles, smiles, and sharpened appetites, the tide seems to have inexorably turned against the Puritanical Police of the DEA. With the Democrats taking control of the Senate in 2021, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has floated the idea of finally decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level by 4/20/22 (420 being the popular, not-so-underground, code for cannabis).

Even if the federal effort fails (which is likely), the attitudes of individual states are moving towards a fuller embrace of cannabis on both medical and recreational bases. Considering the boosted economies of states which have completely legalized cannabis, in concert with the fact that the nightmarish horror stories with which opponents painted legalization failed to materialize, there is an absolute and unwavering movement towards accepting cannabis as a fact of today’s society.

More importantly, time is also eradicating the horrific lies told about cannabis and its millions of consumers over the past century of propaganda. Again, much credit should be granted to CBD, which opened the eyes of many individuals suffering from various health and wellness concerns by offering them much-longed-for relief. This effectively forwarded the argument that perhaps the plant was not entirely bad after all; and with advanced cultivation techniques, hemp could be grown and harvested without the worrisome THC gumming up the works.

Now it appears that THC never gummed up the works; it was more our glorious leaders who failed us with their unending war against drugs. Speaking of which… plants are not drugs! This is how convoluted our world becomes when we attempt to demonize a plant by calling it a drug merely because it makes people giggle and gobble up sweets.

Getting Your Own Delta 8 THC Products

Just as the federal level remains befuddled about the legal status of Delta 8 THC, states appear to be equally uncertain and confused. Fortunately for Americans, for now, Delta 8 THC remains fully legal and can even be purchased online. 

Residents in states that still consider cannabis illegal should keep an eye on local developments, but considering the slowness with which most legislators move and contrasting it with the growing popularity and acceptance of both cannabis and hemp, there is a good chance no action will be taken any time soon. As time continues to pass and lawmakers realize no one freaked out or died from experiencing the pleasures (and likely health benefits) of Delta 8 THC, it will become more difficult for the most regressive legislators to impose draconian laws which do not reflect the will of the people (nor do such laws protect the populace; in some cases, it could cause harm by depriving individuals of products intended to aid in their wellness efforts).

This results in good news to Americans: they are actually free to experience Delta 8 THC products for themselves to learn directly what it is all about and how it will affect them personally. As with any product, each person is unique and may react differently towards it than others. Overall though, the general consensus among new Delta 8 THC users is one of enthusiastic excitement coupled with pleasant surprise at its gentler effects.

What to Expect When Trying Delta 8 THC

As you probably expect, your first experience using Delta 8 THC will be influenced by whether or not you have ever tried or currently use Delta 9 THC. 

Regular users of Delta 9 THC overwhelmingly report they enjoy the softer effects which Delta 8 THC delivers in comparison to their usual experience when consuming Delta 9 THC. Even veteran Delta 9 THC consumers admit to the occasional discomfort felt after consuming a particularly strong strain of cannabis, with symptoms including a racing heart, slight hyperventilation, and a mild sense of discombobulation when it first enters the bloodstream. By comparison, Delta 8 THC seems to leave any jittery sensations out of the picture and slips the consumer right into a mellow, slightly tipsy state of mind, making it a popular alternate choice even for veteran cannabis consumers. In many circles, Delta 8 THC has earned the rightful nickname of “weed light.”

As a rough measurement, most experienced cannabis consumers would estimate that it would take about 2 to 3 times as much Delta 8 THC to obtain the same effects as they experience with their tried and true Delta 9 THC. This ratio appears to apply equally whether you ingest an edible or inhale flower, but do keep in mind that, similar to Delta 9 THC, the overall effects for most consumers will vary depending upon whether they are smoking or eating Delta 8 THC products.

For those individuals unfamiliar with Delta 9 THC, and who have only their experiences with CBD for comparison, they should be cautioned that a little bit of Delta 8 THC will likely go a long way. For instance, if a gram of CBD hemp flower puts you in the perfect desired state, then a quarter gram of Delta 8 THC hemp flower is strongly suggested for starters. If, after 15 or 20 minutes, the effects are not overwhelming and the sensation is pleasant, feel free to try another quarter gram. It takes little time to find the right amount which delivers the effects one is seeking, and many first-time Delta 8 THC consumers are surprised at the extra relaxation and calmness of mind they experience with a mild form of THC added to the CBD already working in their system.

Many people are now balancing their intake of cannabinoids between CBD, Delta 8 THC, and Delta 9 THC, claiming that the combination has an almost synergistic effect where these three main compounds seem to bolster and augment the benefits and therapeutic potentials of each other and other cannabinoids. 

Your Fern Valley Farms Delta 8 THC Choices

While relatively new in the marketplace, you can already find quality Delta 8 THC products at Fern Valley Farms. To treat our quality hemp flower strains with the Delta 8 THC compound, we employ a “cold infusion” process that freezes our Delta 8 distillate until it is completely solid. We then pulverize the frozen Delta 8 distillate into a powder and toss it into a container with buds from the chosen hemp flower strain. This is then vigorously agitated so that the powdered Delta 8 THC distillate evenly coats the entire flower, all the way down to the stem.

The end result of the cold infusion treatment process is a purer and truer blending of the Delta 8 THC compound with the cannabinoids contained in the hemp flower strain, all performed without the use of any solvents.

It is truly a product you want to experience but do not forget that the effects go well beyond our premium CBD flower strains, so we always recommend a slow and easy start when being first introduced to our Delta 8 THC enhanced CBD flower. That being said… do have fun!

We already have too many Delta 8 products to fully list below but to help you off on the right start, here are some Delta 8 links to check out:

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