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Is Delta 8 Truly THC Free?

Written by Derek Johnson

Delta 8 Tetrahydrocannabinol (D8 THC) is a cannabinoid that is experiencing a dramatic increase in popularity. In the past couple of years, it has gone from relative obscurity, eclipsed by Delta 9 THC (D9 THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), to being one of the most sought after cannabinoids in the marketplace. And this is because, similar to D9 THC, D8 THC has psychoactive properties and is derived from federally-legal hemp plants, which are defined as those hemp plants that contain less than .3% D9 THC.

As it gains popularity and makes its way into the mainstream, many are asking if D8 THC is truly D9 THC free, and the answer is yes. Both are separate substances that have similar molecular compositions and produce psychoactive affects on their users, but one does not contain the other.

That said, products advertised as containing D8 THC may in fact contain Delta 9 THC. If they do, then the amount of D9 THC found in the product must be below .3%, or it won’t enjoy the protections afforded by the 2018 Farm Bill. Whether a product does contain both D8 and D9 THC will depend on how it was made.

In order for a Delta 8 product to be absolutely THC free, the creators of that product must synthesize the Delta 8 using pure CBD. The process by which this occurs is called isomerization and is the preferred method of producing Delta 8 THC, due to its efficiency and purity in product.

There are, however, other methods of obtaining Delta 8. One is through distillation using plant matter as the source material. The problem with this method lies in the extremely small amount of Delta 8 found in cannabis plants, which makes distillation inefficient. Additionally, distillation methods are not effective in removing Delta 9 THC because its boiling point is too similar to that of D8 THC. So if you buy a product with distilled D8 THC, then it may contain D9 THC as well.

In general, though, most D8 THC products are produced through the isomerizaton of CBD and thus do not contain D9 THC.

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Derek Johnson

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