Delta 8 THC is becoming more popular as people discover the world of THC — and other cannabinoids — amidst the unprecedented legalization movement.
Many people don’t realize that there are different kinds of THC products and instead assume it’s all the same. In reality, there are several various forms, each with its own psychoactive effects, strength, and legal considerations.
Beginners gravitate towards delta 8 THC for its widespread legality, milder effects, and lower risk of negative side effects.
In this article, you’ll find an overview of delta 8 THC: what it is, how it differs from “regular” THC, and why people make the switch.
WHAT IS DELTA 8 THC?
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the primary active compound in marijuana, responsible for giving users a high.
THC is a complex molecule made of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. The most common form of THC is called delta 9 THC. It’s the primary psychoactive ingredient in most marijuana products.
Delta 8 THC has the same chemical formula as delta 9 THC but with a slightly different structure.
Delta 8 THC has the double bond on the eighth carbon chain, whereas delta 9 has it on the ninth carbon.
Although the chemical difference between delta 8 THC and delta 9 THC sounds minor, it significantly affects biological activity and makes the experience quite different.
Overall, delta 8 THC is less potent, more attainable (it’s legal), and gentler than delta 9 THC.
People new to THC are often encouraged to start with delta 8 THC, but longtime users are starting to switch from delta 9 to delta 8 THC as well.
WHY ARE PEOPLE SWITCHING TO DELTA 8 THC?
Delta 8 THC has several advantages over delta 9 THC, making it an attractive choice for new THC users and experienced users alike. New users are drawn to delta 8 THC because of its decreased strength, making it much less common for delta 8 THC users to have negative first experiences.
More experienced THC users are also attracted to delta 8 THC, especially if they’re prone to anxiety or paranoia. Some people claim that delta 8 THC provides a more calming experience and prefer its mellow high.
Below you will find a more in-depth discussion of the reasons for people switching to delta 8 THC.
1. Δ8 THC IS LEGAL WHERE MARIJUANA ISN’T
Even with the push to legalize marijuana in many states, recreational delta 9 THC products are still illegal. While there is progress in legalizing delta 9 THC, some users are switching to delta 8 THC because it remains fully legal in many states.
Delta 8 THC remains federally legal under the Farm Bill of 2018, which permits hemp and all components of the plants to be bought and sold. The only stipulation is that it can’t be made from marijuana, and the total delta 9 THC content must remain below 0.3%.
Delta 9 THC is illegal on a federal level, although it has been legalized recreationally and medically in many states. If you live where delta 9 THC is still regulated, delta 8 THC might be your only option.
2. Δ8 THC HAS MILDER EFFECTS
Since delta 8 and delta 9 THC are chemically different, they also affect the human body uniquely. Delta 8 THC is much milder than delta 9 THC, less likely to trigger adverse side effects. People trying THC for the first time should try delta 8 products since it drastically increases the odds of having a pleasurable first experience.
Delta 8 THC is also a good option for more experienced THC users that develop anxiety or paranoia with delta 9 THC.
By switching to delta 8, many people find relief from the unpleasant side effects of delta 9 without eliminating all the benefits.
3. Δ8 THC IS WIDELY AVAILABLE
One of the most significant advantages to delta 8 THC’s rise in popularity is widespread availability. Since delta 8 THC is legal in most places, even where marijuana and delta 9 THC products are not, a larger population can enjoy it.
Many smoke shops carry delta 8 THC products, and you can even find them in some gas stations and convenience stores. Having easier access to delta 8 THC through familiar avenues lowers entry barriers for new users and makes it easy for more people to try THC.
4. Δ8 THC IS MORE RELAXING
This benefit is slightly controversial since it’s highly subjective, but many people anecdotally report that delta 8 THC is more relaxing than delta 9 THC. Some people prefer delta 8 THC’s smoother, less intense high and switch to the THC analog purely because it provides a better overall experience.
While legality, potency, and availability are concrete, the subjective experience you have will be uniquely your own. Whether you’re a regular delta 9 THC user or not, the only way to know if delta 8 is for you is to give it a try.
WHERE TO BUY DELTA 8 THC IN 2021
Since delta 8 THC is more widely available than delta 9 THC, thanks to its less restrictive legal status, you can probably find several physical shops nearby that carry it.
However, in almost all cases, buying delta 8 THC online is the better option.
The number one advantage to buying delta 8 THC online is access to third-party testing. Most reputable online THC vendors send samples of their products to independent testing facilities to ensure the quality and potency are accurate.
You should never purchase delta 8 THC products without reviewing published third-party test results first. If the vendor you’re considering buying from doesn’t provide recent results, steer clear.
Despite offering higher quality products, online vendors also have lower prices than local shops. Most online THC stores have a direct relationship with manufacturers or are the manufacturers themselves, meaning there are no middlemen and fewer entities sharing profits. Since online stores pay less for their products, they can sell them to you at a lower price and still make money. Ultimately, you’ll pay less for a higher-quality product when buying online.
A final advantage to purchasing online is having options for consumption and flavor. Online retailers have a greater variety of products because they have access to a more extensive and more diverse customer pool. Local shops selling delta 8 THC products only stock the most popular items and can’t afford to carry fewer in-demand products because of limited shelf space.
The only time buying from a local store is the best option to replenish your stock immediately. Even the fastest shipping times can’t compete with the immediacy of walking out of a store with your item in hand.
However, if you can afford to wait, buying online ensures you’re buying high-quality, accurately-labeled products that are guaranteed to be potent. Buying online saves you money and gives you more products to choose from so you can get exactly what you want.
SUMMARY: HOW TO MAKE THE SWITCH TO DELTA 8 THC
Many people are trying delta 8 for the first time, while others are switching from delta 9.
There are two main reasons people are using delta 8 THC over delta 9 THC — it’s legal (in most parts of the US), and the effects are much more soothing and less likely to cause anxiety.
Using delta 8 THC is a personal decision. If you decide to try it, make sure you buy from a reliable vendor and start with a small amount to see how your body responds.
Start with something simple and easy to use, like a delta 8 THC cartridge, gummies, or a tincture.