The world of cannabis and pot legalization is ever-changing and expanding. Just a handful of years ago, most people were only familiar with two cannabinoids: CBD and THC. Those compounds had the spotlight and got all of the attention.
CBD was popular because it doesn’t give off that psychoactive buzz, but rather, it provided users several holistic benefits including the potential to help manage mental disorders in a more effective way.
THC, on the other hand, refers to traditional Delta-9 THC that is present in most legal cannabis products you’d find at a dispensary. THC has been popular for years thanks to its psychoactive effects. It causes you to experience a head and body high, making smoking weed a very popular recreational activity. Plus, it’s also been known for its potential holistic benefits as well.
A couple of years ago, a new cannabinoid took the cannabis industry by storm: Delta-8 Tetrahydrocannabinol, or Delta-8 for short.
Delta-8 is a compound that is very similar to traditional Delta-9 THC in that it still gets you high. However, since it’s created from hemp-derived CBD (we’ll discuss this more later) it’s legal in many states, even where ‘regular THC’ is not.
This “legal high” has boosted the popularity of the hemp-derived cannabinoid. But will the popularity continue? Is it negatively affecting the legal cannabis industry? Current Delta-8 regulations are causing a lot of confusion in the United States, so keep reading to learn all about it.
First of All, What is Delta-8 THC?
Delta-8 THC is very similar to Delta-9 THC. Delta-9 is the main psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis plants, meaning it’s responsible for making you feel high.
Delta-8 is another psychoactive cannabinoid that is naturally derived from the same plants – but only in small amounts. Because it’s only present in minimal amounts, scientists have discovered methods for creating Delta-8 in a lab so that it can be sold at commercial volumes.
Experience-wise, most people describe Dleta-8 as a less-intense and more relaxing high compared to its Delta-9 counterpart. And while Delta-8 is a relatively new cannabinoid to hit the market, it hasn’t been available for recreation use until more recently. Remember that CBD and Delta-9 THC were the compounds in the spotlight for many years, so this is an exciting time to be in seeing some of the other minor cannabinoids steal a bit of thunder!
Why is Delta-8 THC Growing in Popularity?
Delta-8 has been drastically increasing in popularity over the past year or so. This is most likely due to the fact that it’s considered a “legal high” in many parts of the world, including in many states within the U.S.
This is thanks to the fact that Delta-8 is derived from hemp-derived CBD. And CBD is legal throughout the U.S. as long as the Delta-9 THC content contained in the hemp is less than 0.3% on a dry-weight basis. Since Delta-8 is a derivative of CBD an technically follows federal regulations, many states find that it is perfectly legal under current laws – even though it causes its users to feel a mild and controllable psychoactive buzz.
If you really think about it, that’s pretty incredible! Even though Delta-8 gets you high, it’s legal in over 30 states. This is certainly a driving factor in Delta-8’s popularity surge over the last couple of years.
However, it’s important to note that not all states have the same Delta-8 regulations. Some states consider Delta-8 to be illegal simply because it is similar to Delta-9 THC and causes you to feel high (even though it is created from industrial hemp with the federally-allowed legal limit of THC).
How Does Delta-8 Benefit the Legal Cannabis Industry?
The increase in popularity of Delta-8 THC has certainly improved the legal cannabis industry in several ways. Here are a few examples of what is going right in the cannabis industry, and how Delta-8’s popularity helps push progress forward:
- Delta-8 has effectively opened the door to more innovation within the cannabis industry. Scientists are realizing the vast potential available in the market. Cannabinoids like Delta-8, which are only available in small quantities, can be recreated in a lab setting for commercial use. Other cannabinoids will likely start popping up more frequently.
- Delta-8 paves the way for universal access, regardless of what state laws may be. This is a win for both the Delta-8 and legal cannabis industry but not necessarily for the state governments as basically all Americans have access to these products. All Americans are now able to experience a legal, recreational high regardless of whether there is a legal cannabis program in place.
What is Going Wrong in the Cannabis Industry Thanks to Delta-8?
As great as Delta-8 is and all of the strains and flavors Eighty Six has made thanks to how popular the psychoactive cannabinoid has become, not all is right in the world of legal cannabis due to its existence. Here are a few aspects that seem to utterly annoy the legal cannabis industry:
- Delta-8 regulations are causing a lot of confusion throughout the market. It can be hard to keep up with the ever-changing legal landscape surrounding Delta-8 and other cannabinoid laws. While Delta-8 and other hemp-derived cannabinoids are federally legal, individual states have the right to regulate as they see fit. And seeing that each state can handle things differently, it can be very difficult to discern where say, Mississippi stands on cannabinoids of any sort.
- There may be safety concerns to consider as well. Despite not having any substantial evidence stating that Delta-8 is unsafe, many are concerned of the lack of regulations in place. If you look at the legal cannabis industry, both medical and recreational, companies need to be registered and/or licensed, the raw materials are traced, and the finished products need to undergo testing under the most stringent of compliance standards before entering the market. Since Delta-8 opens the door for other cannabinoids, there is a chance that future products skip over the compliance and safety standard.
- Unsafe products ruin it for everyone involved. Thanks to the lack of regulation of Delta-8 products, there are several companies that skirt the safety standards all in favor or making a quick buck. Certain companies may mislabel their products, use poor ingredients, or practice unsafe manufacturing standards. This has led to many companies selling bad and straight-up unsafe products, ruining the reputation the legal cannabis industry strives to uphold. This is why it’s essential to research the companies and their transparency behind their products and process thoroughly before making a purchase.
Pot Legalization News – What’s Going On?
In the United States on a federal level, the recreational and medical use of marijuana is still illegal. However, each state has its own rules and regulations about possession and consumption of it. As of April 2022, 18 states allow for the recreational use of marijuana, with 37 states allowing for medical patients to access products.
As of July 2022, the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA) passed the House and awaiting further deliberation in the Senate. If passed and signed by President Biden, cannabis would be decriminalized at the national level, thus opening up the floodgates to interstate commerce and more-or-less universal access across the country to cannabis and all of its derivatives, Delta-8 included.
Despite the potential for nationwide decriminalization, it’s still important to remember that individual states can regulate these products as they see fit.
Cannabis laws are changing constantly. Ultimately, it’s recommended that you do your own research on the Delta-8 regulations in your state. Always err on the side of caution, and also make sure that you only purchase quality products from reputable brands such as Eighty Six.
We have a selection of Delta-8, HHC, and THC-O products to choose from, including our all-new Delta-8 Pre-Rolls, edibles, disposable vape pens, and more. You can rest assured knowing that all Eighty Six products are derived from industrial hemp, pesticide- and GMO-free, and we have the third-party lab reports to prove it!