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The CBD market has recently been flooded with new and intriguing products, attracting the attention of both curious consumers and health enthusiasts. Among these innovative products are Delta 8, Delta 9, and Delta 10 cannabinoids.
They’ve rapidly gained popularity, sparking both widespread interest and controversy. But why is this? Let's begin with a basic understanding of what these substances are.
The term "Delta 8 CBD" is a bit of a misnomer as Delta 8 and CBD are different compounds derived from the cannabis plant.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive compound found in both hemp and marijuana. It's known for its potential therapeutic benefits, including anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and pain-relieving properties. Unlike THC, CBD doesn't produce the "high" typically associated with cannabis.
Delta 8, on the other hand, is a form of THC, more formally known as delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol. It's less potent than the primary form of THC, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta 9), and can offer a more mild and manageable high compared to Delta 9.
So, while they're both derived from the cannabis plant and are present in products available on the CBD market, Delta 8 and CBD are indeed different compounds with different properties and effects.
To understand the differences between Delta 8, CBD, and marijuana, it's crucial to understand that they are all components or derivatives of the cannabis plant but have different chemical compositions and effects.
In terms of their legal status in the United States, CBD derived from hemp (a cannabis variety with less than 0.3% Delta 9 THC) is federally legal. Delta 8 is in a legal gray area due to its methods of production and confusion over its classification. Marijuana, due to its high Delta 9 THC content, is still classified as a Schedule I drug at the federal level, but its legal status varies at the state level, with many states having legalized it for medical and/or recreational use.
Delta 8 THC is a naturally occurring cannabinoid in cannabis (hemp and marijuana) and is a derivative of hemp and CBD, which are legal substances. It is known for producing a mild psychoactive effect, much less potent than delta-9-THC, the main form of THC in cannabis.
Delta 9 THC is the most well-known cannabinoid and the main psychoactive component of cannabis. While Delta 9 is naturally occurring in cannabis, its concentration is much higher in marijuana than in hemp.
Delta 10 THC is one of the newest cannabinoids to hit the market. It's found in very low concentrations in cannabis plants, and much like Delta 8, it offers a less intense psychoactive effect compared to Delta 9.
Delta 8, Delta 9, and Delta 10 have entered the market alongside other CBD products because of their unique properties. Delta 8 and Delta 10 offer milder, more manageable psychoactive effects, and have been reported to provide benefits like calmness, focus, and enhanced creativity, making them attractive to consumers seeking health and wellness alternatives. As for Delta 9, it continues to be recognized for its strong psychoactive properties, and its potential medicinal benefits.
The popularity of these cannabinoids stems from a combination of factors.
First, the less intense high offered by Delta 8 and Delta 10 makes them an appealing option for individuals who want to avoid the potent psychoactive effects of Delta 9.
Second, the potential therapeutic benefits of these cannabinoids such as pain relief, anti-nausea, and anti-anxiety effects are alluring. Finally, the ambiguity in the legality of these substances (which we'll discuss shortly) makes them somewhat of a "legal high" in places where marijuana is still outlawed.
The legality of these cannabinoids is a complex issue, mired in layers of federal, state, and local laws. Under the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp and its derivatives, including CBD and trace amounts of Delta 9 THC, were federally legalized.
However, the bill does not specifically address the legality of Delta 8 or Delta 10, leading to a gray area.
This has resulted in a patchwork of regulations, with some states treating these cannabinoids as legal, while others have banned them. Complicating the matter further, the Drug Enforcement Agency's stance is that all synthetically derived THC's remain a Schedule 1 drug, which has added another layer of controversy.
The lack of clear regulation and oversight has raised concerns about the safety and quality of Delta 8 and Delta 10 products on the market. Without regulatory standards, these products could contain harmful contaminants or may not contain the advertised levels of THC.
The confusion surrounding Delta 8, Delta 9, and Delta 10 stems largely from their legal status and the rapidly evolving nature of cannabis laws. The cannabinoids exist in a legal gray area, which has led to differing interpretations of the law. Further adding to the confusion is the discrepancy between state and federal laws regarding cannabis and its derivatives.
Another source of confusion is the extraction and production process of these cannabinoids. Both Delta 8 and Delta 10 are present in only tiny amounts in the cannabis plant, so commercial extraction is often not viable.
They're typically produced by chemically altering CBD or Delta 9 THC, which raises questions about the definition of "naturally occurring" cannabinoids and "synthetically derived" ones in the context of the law.
During our early stages of development, we decided as a company to not enter the Delta market. Based on a variety of factors, we’ve focused our line of products exclusively on the wellness benefits of CBD derived from our regeneratively-grown hemp.
As a hemp farmer, Steve speaks often about his concern about the products and marketing in the current environment. “The premise of why I’m opposed to Delta 8 is that some companies are packaging the products to look as innocent as candy and targeting children. This is dangerous and has even led to hospitalizations due to people - including children - ingesting copious amounts of Delta 8 thinking it was candy, not realizing the psychoactive properties the product contains.
Also, in the process of converting CBD to Delta 8, some of the chemicals used can cause sickness and ill health effects,” Steve says.
Delta 8, Delta 9, and Delta 10 cannabinoids have introduced a new dimension to the CBD market. Despite their increasing popularity, the ambiguity surrounding their legal status and safety calls for careful consideration.
As we continue to explore the potential benefits and drawbacks of these cannabinoids, the importance of doing personal research and maintaining a dialogue with healthcare professionals cannot be overstated.