What is Delta 8 THC, and is it Legal?
Earlier this year, before a pandemic and chaos hit us all, I wrote an article about the inevitable CBD bust.
In that article, I mentioned price crashes, mostly due to an oversupply of raw materials and finished products, and an overall lack of consumer demand of CBD based products.
When I wrote the article, CBD isolate was selling for $1500-$2000/kilo. We’re now hovering between $500-$1,000 a kilo.
According to the National Cancer Institute, D8 is described as being appetite stimulating, with pain relieving and neuro-protective properties. The high is described as being similar, but milder than Delta 9 THC, although it still packs a punch.
Delta 8 is very similar to Delta 9, being just a few atomic bonds apart. D8 exists naturally in only fractions of a percent, so many companies are starting to find value in extracting the compound as an isolate.
We’re starting to see a rise in popularity with manufacturers producing Delta 8 products, but what do consumers think?
For most, the effects are described as being a stoned feeling similar to Delta 9, but it’s short lasting, without as much of a mental load or fog. But let’s not throw it out the window that products containing Delta 8 THC WILL get you high, and so as a responsible adult, you should not operate any machinery or drive a car while using the substance.
The first companies producing & marketing Delta 8 products for consumers were Oregrown Industries, and Item 9 Labs, both based in Oregon, and this was an innovation in processing around late 2017, early 2018.
We’re now seeing a rise in popularity, at least in the b2b space for delta 8 products, mainly disposable vapes, carts, and edibles. Although the demand from consumers is lacking, as consumers generally don’t know that this product exists.
Delta 8 THC currently sits in a legal purgatory, with some producers arguing its legality through the 2018 farm bill which legalized hemp and its derivatives, while others are cautioning producing and possessing the substance, due to its classification as a scheduled substance by the DEA, and fear of the compound falling under the FAA (Federal Analogue Act). So far, no federal agency has publicly stated it’s outright ban.
10 States have currently banned Delta 8 altogether, mostly through guidelines in the individual state’s Controlled Substances Act. These 10 states include Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, Rhode Island, and Utah.
While Delta 8 may be a new legal way to get high, as history has shown, many jurisdictions are quick to act on these newly marketed substances to close any loopholes that give them legality.
In reality, I think that we have a solid 3–4 months before states start dropping bans on Delta 8. Just because there is a “loophole” to producing this legally intoxicating substance, doesn’t mean that states won’t crack down on regulating it more tightly.
We’ll probably see language changed in state CSAs (Controlled Substances Act) that includes both Delta 8, and Delta 9. Currently, the DEA does list it as a CS, even though the farm legalized the isomer if it’s made solely from hemp.
If anything, we’re going to enter muddy waters through the court system in the coming months.
I wouldn’t go all in with Delta 8 brands (like we saw with CBD brands), but it’s a viable product to add to your current offerings, b2b or b2c.
Only time will tell for the future of Delta 8, as it is only one of hundreds of cannabinoids we have yet to uncover. I still whole heartedly believe in whole plant cannabis products over isolated compounds, but this is a step in the right direction towards legalization.