Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-8-THC, Δ8-THC) is a psychoactive cannabinoid found in the Cannabis plant. It is an isomer of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9-THC, Δ9-THC), the compound commonly known as THC. ∆8-THC has antiemetic, anxiolytic, orexigenic, analgesic, and neuroprotective properties.
Delta 8 THC was discovered decades ago (source: The partial synthesis of ∆8-THC was published in 1941 by Roger Adams and colleagues at the University of Illinois.) but until recently it wasn’t mass produced and sold to consumers. So where was Delta 8 THC hiding? In our modern world with advanced sciences and laboratories, Delta 8 THC was bound to happen. As one of the stories goes, farmers who invested money into crops, and processors that invested in making CBD Isolate found themselves with a lot of CBD Isolate surplus and processors needed to distribute it so they could get the best ROI from their Hemp crop and yields. (https://www.hempbenchmarks.com/hemp-market-insider/delta-8-thc/ – Many processors are already sitting on sizable inventories of such products, particularly extracted forms of CBD. Given this situation, synthesizing delta-8 THC from one’s surplus inventory of CBD and selling it for significantly higher prices would appear to be an appealing avenue for processors to take.
What is CBD Isolate? CBD Isolate comes from the hemp plant and has been extracted and cleaned to have ALL of the other cannabinoids, including the THC, removed so all there is nothing left, just the CBD Isolate. For a visual, think of a bottle of Vitamin-C at the drugstore, it came from an orange but was extracted and processed so that you only buy Vitamin-C. So CBD is isolated and is taken away from the plant so you have just the plain CBD Molecule and nothing else.
But the market for cbd isolate wasn’t ready for more inventory and rather than scrap the product, processors asked scientists to look into the possibilities of what else can you make with CBD Isolate. They soon figured out that you can apply science in a lab setting and change CBD Isolate into Delta 8 THC. How this happens is a great topic for another article (link reference), so for now just remember that Delta 8 THC actually comes from Hemp plants and from the CBD Isolate. If you want to know how Delta 8 THC is legal? It’s because Delta 8 THC is actually from the Hemp Plant, and the hemp plant was removed from the Schedule 1 substances shortly after the 2018 Farm Bill (link) passed giving more access to Hemp. (link to legal article)
The first wave of Delta 8 products showed up about Spring of 2020 and the first consumers that were asking for Delta 8 were not embarrassed to ask for delta 8 thc because it has a (mild) intoxicating alternative to the (highly) intoxicating Delta 9 THC, or Marijuana. And not surprisingly, our first few clients were mostly recreation seeking. Also not surprising, most were younger and upon first glance they were not coming to see us for help with pain or anxiety, they actually told us they had tried Delta 8 THC before and liked it and wanted the lower intoxicating feeling.
This made perfect sense to me (them seeking a milder cannabis product) because I remember decades ago while in college, most college kids back then were introduced to Delta 9 THC (POT) by a mild peer pressure to “smoke out” and get as high as possible. Well without the internet back then it was sadly entertaining to see folks try cannabis (sometimes a lot of it), and either like it or have a “bad experience”. So it made sense to me that in 2020, having an option between a lower intoxication (Delta 8) vs. a possibly much higher intoxication (Delta 9) was a better introduction to cannabis and its intoxicating effects – by choosing your intoxication level.
Realizing that younger folks were using cannabis for anxiety relief rather than prescriptions is a large portion of why so many of us are in this industry – to help people naturally. Nonetheless, it was still a surprise for a hemp cbd retailer because a Hemp CBD Store Wellness Advocate may spend 30 minutes to 1 hour giving a CBD client a lot of information that helps educate a client about hemp, their ECS and CBD Dosing.
All this Q&A offers a great opportunity to digress into more details supporting questions and topics like: Explain how CBD works and does not get you high (hemp vs. marijuana)? On average it takes about 15-30 minutes to consult a client and help them purchase CBD. But a Delta 8 THC clients simply finds us online, comes in, asks where the Delta 8 THC is, asks about the prices, makes a decision and didn’t ask any questions about health or wellness. Trust me, this is okay because ultimately Delta 8 THC is making its way into more and more use cases – not only recreation.
What other uses are there for Delta 8 THC? The same use cases for Delta 9 THC and the same reasons why someone may seek a MMJ Card, but with a lower level of intoxication and easier access (no card needed), I’m finding that Americans are using their adult choice to see if the intoxicating effects from Delta 8 THC are right for their personal use be it Pain Management, Anxiety reduction, Sleep assistance, or to relax (without drinking).
By the second month selling Delta 8 THC the demand for it was growing every week. I added more Delta 8 THC to the shelves and began to divide my Hemp Store into a CBD Health and Wellness Store with a dedicated Delta 8 THC Section because they each have their own sales discussions. I found this very interesting because when selling Hemp CBD, clients tend to commit more to Hemp with a few minutes spent educating the client on the Whole Plant, on their Human ECS. But, when selling Delta 8 THC, clients are 90% sold before they enter the store and ready to buy once they see what the options are and how much the products cost.
Then as the weeks went on and word was spreading, I began to see a new group of clients coming in asking for Delta 8. They weren’t the same age as the previous early adopters, they were a new crowd. This time the clients were older (than me and I’m 50), and this time they wanted to try Delta 8 THC but they had questions about Delta 8 THC and how it helps pain, sleep, and anxiety. What I began to see was that over and over an older client base was buying the same Delta 8 products. I needed anecdotal data to tell other clients so I began to ask this older client base – what is the benefit you are receiving? Over and over I heard the same thing from older clients – “helps me sleep at night”, and “helps me with anxiety”, and “helps me sleep all night”.
Seniors that were buying Delta 8 THC were finding benefits in the intoxication and they were using this to help fall asleep and stay asleep, they were using this to treat anxiety (rather than taking prescription drugs), they were using it for all day pain relief – and they were not telling me they felt high.
It seemed that CBD was doing a good job for most, but for some that had hoped for a little more intoxicating pain relief, those humans who are in search of pain management are going to – do whatever it takes to find relief. The range of relief tools out there available in our modern world range from the obvious: advil, prescriptions, exercise and diet, then the not so obvious methods: alcohol, drug abuse, delta 9, etc. You cannot judge anyone on what or how they deal with pain management, anxiety, PTSD, hyper-activity. Clients are using the intoxicating effects of Delta 8 the same way adults in the movies use alcohol to relax. Adults are using Delta 8 to help with busy lifestyles with demanding jobs and delta 8 (for them) is a better way to relax – instead of having 4 alcoholic drinks.
If you’re allowed to go into a yoga studio and smell the calming smell of nag champa and know it’s a place to chill, if you’re allowed to go to a sound bowl class and close your eyes and transcend to a place of bliss, well you are allowed to allow the power of cannabis, and at various levels, to work for you so that you can live your best life, with pain or anxiety, it’s what the planet and mother nature planned for. After all, a caveman would fall out of a tree and get HURT, and if a bear saw him and wanted to eat him so he chased him back to his cave where he nearly escaped death and is now SCARED – these things are allowed to happen. Being Hurt or Scared is not always a disorder. Nature knew this and gave us Cannabis and an endocannabinoid system to cope and sooth. Now we are experimenting with the Cannabis plant unlike ever before and I believe more and more adult choice options will come from Cannabis, and this will give those seeking natural relief better options for their needs.
So what Delta 8 THC has shown me is that as humans we are able to make our own adult choice on how to apply discomfort management and Given the Options out there, Delta 8 THC gives a client the ability to regulate their pain management – with a mild intoxication, and without drugs or alcohol, or it can also be entirely for adult choice and recreational.
References given in article for statistics and story support, most of this is my opinion. Here is one of 3 youtube videos that clients agreed to make and to keep privacy out I only filmed hand and audio, no names, faces, etc..\
Well here was another surprise – that Delta 8, an intoxicating cannabinoid, was providing the same benefits to folks that CBD, a non-intoxicating cannabinoid, was. Thank goodness for this experience as it showed me that humans are all different, but most humans use the same methods to treat pain, anxiety and sleep methods. Accross the board, some humans may use alcohol to help fall asleep, some humans may use alcohol to deal with depression (the movies make this seem very normal), and some humans combine Delta 8 THC for the relaxing benefits, and to curb anxiety and stress. I then realized there is a split between how humans deal with things. Some are done with prescriptions and alcohol and they want an all natural non-intoxicating experience – these are Hemp CBD clients. I also realized that some humans use the intoxicating effects in their own way, and not for total recreation, but it’s their way of coping ans soothing themselves. Since the movies make alcohol seem like a perfectly fine way to deal with stress, and since most TV commercials these days are showing you how taking prescriptions can help you get on with your life, then certainly it is NOT of anyones concern how a human uses Delta 8 THC.