Regulations regarding Delta-8 tetrayhydracannabidiol (D8) are continuing to change throughout the country, but among much of the confusion surrounding the topic, one constant remains the same, and it’s how D8 is made. Although D8 is a naturally occurring cannabinoid, it isn’t found in high enough quantities to be worth extracting on its own. This is why curious scientists figured out a way to convert cannabidiol (CBD) into D8.
Although D8 is not produced from direct extraction, converting one cannabinoid into another is a naturally occurring process that cannabinoids go through regularly. Even tetrahydracannabinolic acid (THCA), and several other cannabinoid acids, start as cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) and then convert into other cannabinoid acid forms throughout their life cycle. Even though this conversion of cannabinoids is natural, the process of making D8 from CBD is a bit more complicated.
Converting CBD into D8 is done in a lab, using a very specific process. The group of scientists mentioned earlier patented the process, sharing the method they discovered to be most efficient. It involves mixing a Lewis acid in a solvent, then adding CBD, and refluxing the mixture. After that, the mixture is diluted with a solvent again before being poured into cold water, mixed, and left to separate. Once the mixture has separated, it is then collected, and the D8 is eluted from the final separated product. 
This is the most commonly used process to make D8. The real question is, with states like Colorado and others banning D8, how long will producers be able to keep producing and distributing D8 products? The answer to that question is uncertain, but as long as consumer demand for D8 continues to rise, producers are going to continue making D8 to meet that demand.
- Webster G. R., et al. United States Patent US20040143126A1. 2001. https://patents.google.com/patent/US20040143126A1/en