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  • Writer's pictureJoshua Kleinstreuer

Delta-8 THC: What You Need to Know

Updated: Mar 1, 2021

Lois Carter & Gina Epps contributed to this post.


As Cannabidiol (CBD) takes the health and wellness marketplace by storm

with a wide range of benefits, another derivative from the cannabis plant,

Delta-8 THC, is rapidly gaining popularity for how it interacts with the human

body’s endocannabinoid system.

The endocannabinoid system is the homeostatic regulator that affects nearly

every system of our body. 

Delta-8 THC is a naturally occurring phytocannabinoid found at low

concentrations in most varieties of the cannabis plant and their subsequent

strains—including industrial hemp.

If you have ever used hemp-derived, full-spectrum products, such as certain

CBD gummies, flowers, or tinctures, you are already ingesting Delta-8 THC,

albeit in extremely low amounts.

Yet these trace levels of the compound only scratch the surface of the

potential benefits Delta-8 THC can offer the human body and mind. Delta-8

THC is an immensely important cannabinoid specifically due to its ability to

serve as a more functional substitute for Delta-9 THC—another infamous

cannabinoid that is found at high levels in some strains of cannabis.

How Delta-8 THC is Different Than Delta-9 THC

In chemistry, the word “Delta” simply means “double carbon bond.” The

number that follows the word “Delta” refers to where the bond occurs. Upon

first glance, the exact position of the Delta in the carbon chain might seem

minor—yet this is far from the case. When it comes to cannabinoids and CB1

receptors in the central nervous system, big changes occur depending on the

exact position of the delta in the carbon chain. Cannabinoids bind to CB1 and

CB2 receptors within the endocannabinoid system. It is here where they act

as either agonists—mimicking endocannabinoids which are naturally

produced by your body—or antagonists—blocking receptors and limiting

their activity. THC is an agonist and CBD is an antagonist; allowing them to

benefit the body both independently and symbiotically depending on the

user’s needs.

Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC are both equally powerful cannabinoids. Our

body’s chemistry allows us to distinguish their slight variances as to where

the position of the Delta bond occurs. Yet both cannabinoids influence mood and behavior and have similar, subjective intoxicating effects. It is important

to note that on the whole Delta-8 THC tends to deliver its user a more

controlled experience than Delta-9 THC, taking into account biological and

lifestyle factors.

When consumed by vaporization, studies show that nearly an equal

percentage of people reported feeling a subjective, intoxicated feeling from

Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC. However, approximately 20% more users (91%)

reported their experience with Delta-8 THC to be positive than those who

vaporized Delta-9 THC (72%).

At the same time, only 6% of users reported negative effects from vaping

cartridges containing Delta-8 THC compared with 58% of users reporting

negative effects such as increased feelings of paranoia, loss of focus, and

overeating from vaping cartridges containing Delta-9 THC.

As a result of these anecdotal reports, the effects of Delta-8 THC can be

considered less problematic than Delta-9 THC, with a milder onset, an

experience better regulated by the user, and elevated feelings of creativity,

alertness, and positive social responses.

Delta-8 THC Safety

Since Delta-8 THC is extracted from the cannabis plant in a laboratory setting, public

safety concerns are alleviated. Lab policies and quality control procedures are

drafted to ensure that operations are performed correctly by trained personnel.

Similar to its Delta-9 THC counterpart, there are no identified fatal overdose

parameters. However, it should be noted that as with other substances, vitamins, or

supplements, there are undesirable effects when consuming more than a person

may need.

Delta-8 THC effects vary based on the chosen method of consumption. Delta-8 THC

exhibits immediate responses when vaporized or smoked and delayed peak effects

when consumed in an edible format such as a gummi that can range from 45

minutes to a couple of hours. The level of purity also plays a role in onset time. The

presence of other cannabinoids may delay the onset of desired effects along with

the concentration of Delta-8 THC in the product. Consequently, this gives the user

further control with the option to consume an antagonist such as CBD if they prefer

to mitigate the effects of a Delta-8 product.

Whether or not you have experience with cannabinoids, to limit undesired effects it

is a best practice to work your dose up slowly to identify your baseline.

Delta-8 THC Extraction, Isolation From Other Cannabinoids

Industry extraction methods currently do not yield substantial quantities of

Delta-8 THC, making isolation of Delta-8 from plant material nearly

impossible without major costs and equally not economical for end-use

consumers. The most common and practical industry practice is converting

CBD, which is abundant in legal hemp. This is done thru a chemical reaction,

typically using heat. This reaction is much like the natural conversion that

takes place as cannabinoids are being created from the mother cannabinoid,

Cannabigerolic Acid, (also known as CBGA), a non-intoxicating cannabinoid

that is the precursor for THC, CBD, and several other common cannabinoids.

The reaction occurs by way of heat, light, time, and plant genetic factors. It is

important to distinguish this when deeming legality. Delta-8 THC produced

in a lab using CBD is a “derivative” or “conversion”, not a synthetic substance,

which is easily classified as illegal.

Delta-8 THC Benefits

The effects of Delta-8 are subjective, but there is a common ground when

users explain their experiences. Similar to the effects of CBD, the effects of

Delta-8 THC can come in two phases. At lower blood concentrations it is

reported to be energizing and at higher doses and blood concentrations it

may be sleep-inducing. One of the most commonly reported characteristics

is how the effects of Delta-8 THC are not overwhelmingly intoxicating—which

is often an effect associated with Delta-9 THC.

A unique trait of Delta-8 in comparison to other tetrahydrocannabinols is the

reduced side effects that come with influencing CB1 receptors in the brain. As

discussed earlier, cannabinoids bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors on the

endocannabinoid system. CB1 receptors are located in the brain and

throughout the body, while CB2 receptors are found mostly in the immune

and gastrointestinal system. While CB2 receptors are also found in the brain,

they are not expressed quite as densely as CB1 receptors.

CB1 receptors are what give Delta-9 THC its infamous “high”. Though the THC

family bonds to both CB1 and CB2 receptors, Delta-8 bonds more to CB2 than

CB1, delivering its benefits throughout the body and less of CB1 receptors in

the central nervous system. Ultimately, this makes the health benefits of

Delta-8 THC stand out while minimizing its psychoactive effects—supporting

users’ claims of a clearer, more relaxing, more sensible, and functional

experience as well as an uplifting effect on the body.

Common Reports of Delta-8 THC Effects:

• Enhanced mood

• Increased relaxation

• Reduced aches and pains

• Increased libido

• Stabilized sleep patterns

• Reduced nausea

• Increased appetite

Similar to Delta-9 THC, potential negative side-effects could include

unwanted drowsiness, headache, dry mouth, and red eyes depending on the

dosing and individual user.


Delta-8 THC is a new way to experience the cannabis plant. It is perfect for

anyone that would like to feel good without being slowed down. Countless

people have unusual tolerance issues that lead to being overstimulated when

using Delta-9 THC—leading to undesirable effects such as increased anxiety,

nervousness, paranoia, and mental cloudiness. The benefits of Delta-9 THC

cannot be understated. However, not everyone can manage the “high” and

perform their daily tasks and responsibilities effectively—which makes Delta-

8 THC a golden alternative.

If you are interested in partnering with Gummi

World to create your own, customized Delta-8 THC gummi, call our Partner

Satisfaction Expert at 830-358-9770 today or schedule a time online.

The statements above have not been evaluated by the FDA. Delta-8 THC is

not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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