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What is Delta 8

Discover what is Delta 8 and whether it shows up on a drug test, along with more in-depth insights into this unique cannabinoid.

Setting off on a journey through the captivating landscape of Delta 8, we're positioned at the intersection of science, legality, and daily experience.

This unique cannabinoid, less familiar than its cousins Delta 9 and CBD, presents fascinating questions and opportunities within the cannabis spectrum. In this exploration, we'll demystify Delta 8, addressing its nature, effects, and the crucial issue of whether it appears on drug tests.

What is Delta 8

As we venture further, we'll delve into the nuances of this compound, providing clarity for those intrigued by its potential and looking for a better understanding of its role in the evolving cannabis narrative.

Come along as we navigate the intricacies and reveal the core of Delta 8.

What is Delta 8?

Delta 8 THC, officially known as Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol, is a cannabinoid derived from the cannabis plant. It is one of many cannabinoids found naturally in cannabis but is not as prevalent as its close relative, Delta 9 THC, which is the primary compound responsible for the psychoactive effects associated with marijuana.

What makes Delta 8 THC particularly notable is its unique chemical structure, which allows it to offer a slightly different psychoactive experience—generally milder and with fewer anxiety-producing effects than Delta 9 THC. This has made Delta 8 THC a popular alternative for those seeking the therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids without the more intense highs associated with traditional marijuana use.

What is Delta 8

The legal status of Delta 8 THC is somewhat complex and varies significantly from one region to another. In the United States, for example, Delta 8 is legal in some states but not in others, largely because it can be derived synthetically from CBD, which is legal federally.

This synthetic derivation complicates its status, as many cannabis laws were written with natural plant extracts in mind, not synthetically altered cannabinoids.

Thus, while Delta 8 THC can be legally sold in some places under the premise that it is derived from legal hemp, other jurisdictions treat it with the same restrictions as Delta 9 THC due to its psychoactive nature.

Chemical Structure & Properties of Delta 8

The molecular structure of Delta 8 THC is what sets it apart from its more famous cousin, Delta 9 THC. Both cannabinoids share the same chemical formula, C₂₁H₃₀O₂, but their effects differ due to the placement of a critical double bond in their structures; in Delta 8 THC, this bond is on the eighth carbon atom, whereas in

Delta 9 THC, it is on the ninth. This small structural tweak significantly affects how each compound interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system—the system responsible for maintaining physiological balance in the body.

Delta 8 THC binds to the CB1 and CB2 receptors in this system, but it does so in a way that produces less potent psychoactive effects, making it a more appealing option for those who wish to avoid the intense highs and potential anxiety associated with Delta 9 THC.

What is Delta 8

Moreover, Delta 8 THC exhibits greater stability than Delta 9 THC, which means it has a longer shelf life and is less prone to oxidation. These properties make Delta 8 THC more desirable for manufacturers who need the compound to remain effective and unaltered during production and storage.

Its boiling point, which ranges between 175-178°C, also makes it suitable for vaporization and for incorporation into various edible and topical products without degradation.

The solubility of Delta 8 THC in fats and oils allows it to be easily integrated into consumables and tinctures, providing versatile options for consumption.

Delta 8 Effects

Delta 8 THC tends to produce effects that are similar to but milder than those of Delta 9 THC. It is known for its ability to induce relaxation, euphoria, and pain relief, albeit with less intensity, which many users prefer for a more controlled experience. Here are some key effects:

  • Psychoactive Effects: Mildly intoxicating, less potent than Delta 9 THC.
  • Mood Elevation: Known to boost mood and induce euphoria.
  • Sedative Qualities: Can promote relaxation and help with sleep.
  • Pain Relief: Offers analgesic properties.
  • Appetite Stimulation: Can increase appetite.
  • Neuroprotective Properties: Potential to protect nerve cells against damage.
  • Anti-nausea: May help reduce nausea and vomiting.

Delta 8 Benefits

While research on Delta 8 THC is less extensive than on Delta 9 THC, preliminary studies and anecdotal evidence suggest several potential health benefits. Here are some of the key benefits:

  • Stress Relief: Helps reduce anxiety and stress.
  • Lower Psychoactivity: Offers a less intense high, which might be preferred by those sensitive to Delta 9 THC's strong effects.
  • Pain Management: Effective in managing chronic pain.
  • Anti-inflammatory Properties: Useful in reducing inflammation.
  • Appetite Stimulation: Helps in managing appetite loss.
  • Nausea Control: Assists in controlling nausea, especially for chemotherapy patients.
  • Neuroprotective Effects: May have protective effects on the brain and nervous system.

Does Delta 8 Show Up on a Drug Test?

Understanding whether Delta 8 THC can be detected in drug screenings is crucial for individuals who are subject to routine drug tests. These tests are commonly employed in various workplaces and are primarily designed to detect THC, the primary psychoactive substance in cannabis.

One key issue with these tests is that they generally do not differentiate between the various forms of THC, such as Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC. This lack of specificity can lead to positive results for individuals using Delta 8, despite its different psychoactive profile and legal status in some regions.

Mechanism of THC Detection in Drug Tests

Standard drug tests aim to identify THC or its metabolites, which are the byproducts of the body's metabolism of THC. When Delta 8 THC is ingested, the body processes it in a similar manner to Delta 9 THC.

This processing results in the production of several metabolites that are structurally similar to those produced from Delta 9 THC, and thus, standard drug tests may not distinguish between the two.

Does Delta 8 Show Up on a Drug Test?

As a result, consuming Delta 8 THC can potentially lead to a positive drug test, even though Delta 8 is a different compound with milder psychoactive effects.

Examples of detection scenarios:

  • Regular Usage: Regular intake of Delta 8 THC can lead to an accumulation of detectable metabolites in the body.
  • Sensitive Tests: High-sensitivity drug tests might detect even small traces of THC metabolites from sporadic or low-level use of Delta 8.

Factors Affecting the Detection of Delta 8

The likelihood of Delta 8 THC showing up on a drug test is influenced by several factors, which include but are not limited to:

  • Usage Amount and Frequency: Higher doses and more frequent consumption of Delta 8 increase the buildup of metabolites, raising the probability of a positive test result.
  • Metabolism and Body Composition: Individuals with faster metabolisms may process Delta 8 more quickly, reducing detection times. Conversely, those with slower metabolic rates may retain metabolites longer.
  • Test Sensitivity: The capability of the test to detect THC and its variants plays a crucial role. More sophisticated tests might be able to specifically identify different cannabinoids, including Delta 8.
  • Type of Test Administered: Different tests have varying detection windows. For instance, urine tests are more likely to detect THC metabolites for longer periods than blood tests.
  • Body Fat Percentage: Since THC is fat-soluble, individuals with higher body fat percentages may store cannabinoids longer, thus extending the window of detection.
  • Hydration and Diet: Hydration levels and diet can influence how quickly substances are metabolized and excreted from the body.
  • Physical Activity: Engaging in activities that burn fat can release stored THC metabolites into the bloodstream, potentially prolonging the detection period.

How Long Does Delta 8 Stay in Your System?

The duration that Delta 8 THC remains detectable in your system can vary widely based on several factors, including the type of drug test used, your physical characteristics, and your consumption habits.

Understanding these factors can help manage expectations regarding drug testing and the use of Delta 8 products.

Types of Drug Tests and Detection Windows

  1. Urine Tests:

    • Most Common Method: Urine tests are the most commonly used method for detecting THC metabolites.
    • Detection Window: Delta 8 can be detected in urine for 3 to 30 days after use, depending on the frequency and quantity of use.

  2. Blood Tests:

    • Detects Recent Use: Blood tests are effective at detecting recent Delta 8 use.
    • Detection Window: Typically, Delta 8 is detectable in blood for 1 to 2 days, but this can extend slightly depending on dosage and individual metabolism.

  3. Saliva Tests:

    • Less Common: Less commonly used for THC detection, saliva tests require recent usage to show positive.
    • Detection Window: Delta 8 may be detectable in saliva for about 1 to 2 days after consumption.

  4. Hair Follicle Tests:

    • Long-Term Detection: Hair tests provide a much longer detection window for substance use.
    • Detection Window: Metabolites of Delta 8 can be detected in hair for up to 90 days.

Influencing Factors

  • Frequency of Use: Regular users will find that Delta 8 stays in their system longer due to cumulative effects.
  • Dosage: Higher doses can increase the time Delta 8 is detectable.
  • Metabolism: Individuals with faster metabolisms will typically process and eliminate THC more quickly.
  • Body Fat Percentage: As THC is lipophilic, it tends to accumulate in fat cells. People with higher body fat percentages may retain THC longer.
  • Overall Health and Age: Metabolic rates tend to decrease with age and poor health, which can extend the detection period of Delta 8.
  • Lifestyle Factors: Physical activity, hydration, and diet can also influence how quickly Delta 8 is metabolized and cleared from the body.

Here's a table summarizing the duration Delta 8 THC may stay in your system based on different drug testing methods and various influencing factors:

Test Type Detection Window Notes
Urine Test 3 to 30 days Most common; duration depends on usage.
Blood Test 1 to 2 days Detects recent use; short detection window.
Saliva Test 1 to 2 days Requires recent usage to detect.
Hair Follicle Test Up to 90 days Detects long-term use.

Is Delta 8 Synthetic?

Delta 8 THC is often categorized as semi-synthetic. Naturally, it occurs in very low quantities in cannabis plants. To obtain a substantial amount of Delta 8 THC for commercial products, manufacturers typically convert CBD (which is abundant in hemp) into Delta 8 THC through a chemical process.

This process involves the use of catalysts and sometimes solvents to rearrange the molecules of CBD to form Delta 8 THC. While the base substance (CBD) is naturally derived, the process of converting it into Delta 8 involves synthetic methods.

This distinction is important for understanding both the regulatory landscape and the market for Delta 8 products.

Delta 8 Dosage Chart: Your Guide to Properly Dosing Delta 8 THC

Determining the correct dosage of Delta 8 THC is crucial for ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience, especially given its psychoactive nature. To ensure this, understanding the Delta 8 dosage chart is very important.

Unlike Delta 9 THC, which is known for its potent effects, Delta 8 offers a milder high, which can be appealing for those who want the benefits of THC without intense psychoactive experiences.

However, because the effects of Delta 8 can vary based on body weight, tolerance, and individual body chemistry, it's important to approach dosing with care.

Starting Your Dosage

For those new to Delta 8, starting with a low dose is essential. This might mean taking small puffs from a vape pen, consuming a half or even a quarter of a gummy, or administering just a few drops of a tincture under the tongue.

It’s recommended to start with a dose of around 5-10 mg of Delta 8, then wait to see the effects. Depending on how you feel after an hour or two, you can decide if you need a little more.

Adjusting Your Dosage

As you become more familiar with how Delta 8 affects your body, you can begin to adjust your dose. If your initial low dose doesn’t produce the desired effects after several trials, you may increase your dosage gradually.

For regular users, a standard dose might range from 10-30 mg per session. Those with higher tolerance or more experience with THC products might find that they require doses upwards of 30-60 mg to achieve the desired effects.

Factors Influencing Dosage

Several factors can influence the appropriate dosage of Delta 8 THC, including:

  • Body Weight: Individuals who weigh more may require higher doses.
  • Tolerance: Regular users of cannabis products may have built up a tolerance and may need higher doses to achieve the same effects.
  • Desired Effects: Some users might seek a light relaxation, while others might want more substantial pain relief or euphoria.
  • Method of Consumption: The form in which Delta 8 is consumed (e.g., edibles, tinctures, vapes) affects how quickly it is absorbed and how strongly it impacts the user.

Comparison Table: Recommended Delta 8 THC Dosages

User Experience Low Dose (mg) Moderate Dose (mg) High Dose (mg)
Beginners 5-10 10-15 15-25
Intermediate Users 10-20 20-30 30-40
Experienced Users 25-40 40-55 55-70

Is Delta 8 Safe?

The safety of Delta 8 THC is a topic of ongoing debate and research within the scientific and medical communities. Like other cannabinoids, Delta 8 interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, but it does so in a way that produces milder psychoactive effects compared to Delta 9 THC.

This has led to its increasing popularity as an alternative to traditional THC products, especially among those who want to avoid intense psychoactive experiences. However, the regulatory landscape for Delta 8 is still developing, and because it can be synthesized from CBD in the lab, there is concern about the purity and consistency of Delta 8 products in the market.

what is delta 8

Impurities and contaminants from poor manufacturing processes can pose safety risks, which underscores the importance of purchasing products from reputable sources that offer transparency regarding their ingredients and production methods.

Further complicating the issue of safety are the limited scientific studies on the long-term effects of Delta 8 THC. While initial reports suggest that it has a relatively favorable safety profile, with potentially fewer and less severe psychoactive effects than Delta 9 THC, comprehensive clinical studies are needed to better understand its pharmacological properties and potential side effects.

Additionally, because it is less potent, there is a concern that individuals might consume higher doses to achieve desired effects, which could lead to unexpected health risks.

Does Delta 8 Have THC?

Yes, Delta 8 does contain THC. Delta 8 THC, or Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol, is itself a form of tetrahydrocannabinol, one of the many cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. It is closely related to Delta 9 THC, the most well-known and psychoactive form of THC, but has some distinct differences.

Delta 8 THC is a naturally occurring cannabinoid in cannabis, though it is found in much smaller amounts compared to Delta 9 THC. Because of its trace amounts in natural plant material, most commercially available Delta 8 is manufactured through a chemical conversion process from CBD, another cannabinoid that is more abundantly found in hemp plants. This process enhances the availability of Delta 8 THC for use in various products.

In terms of chemical structure, Delta 8 THC is similar to Delta 9 THC—the difference lies in the placement of a double bond on a different carbon in the carbon chain. Delta 8 THC has this double bond on the eighth carbon, whereas Delta 9 THC has it on the ninth.

This slight difference significantly influences how each compound interacts with the body's endocannabinoid system, leading to Delta 8 providing milder psychoactive effects compared to Delta 9 THC. 

Delta 8 vs Delta 9: How is Delta 8 Different?

Delta 8 vs Delta 9 are both cannabinoids derived from the cannabis plant, but they have distinct differences in their chemical structure, effects, and legal status. Delta 9 THC is the most well-known form of THC, recognized for its potent psychoactive effects and prominent role in the "high" associated with marijuana.

It is the primary psychoactive component in cannabis and has been the focus of most discussions surrounding the legalization and use of cannabis. On the other hand, Delta 8 THC is a less potent isomer of Delta 9, meaning it shares the same chemical formula but has a slightly altered structure that affects how it interacts with the body's endocannabinoid system.

This difference in interaction results in Delta 8 producing milder psychoactive effects, which some users prefer for its reduced risk of anxiety and paranoia.

what is delta 8

Both Delta 8 and Delta 9 are available in a variety of product forms, catering to different preferences and use cases. Common Delta 9 products include a wide range of traditional cannabis offerings such as delta 9 gummies, smoked flower, oils, and tinctures that are used both recreationally and medicinally.

Delta 9 is known for its strong effects, which can include intense euphoria, relaxation, and, in some cases, heightened sensory perception. Delta 8 products, although similar in diversity, often come with a focus on milder effects and potentially less regulatory oversight, depending on the region.

These products include Delta 8 gummies, vapes, and tinctures, which are marketed for their ability to provide relaxation and pain relief without an overwhelming high.

The different characteristics of Delta 8 and Delta 9 make them suitable for various users depending on their needs and cannabis tolerance. Below is a comparison table that highlights key differences between Delta 8 and Delta 9:

Feature Delta 8 THC Delta 9 THC
Psychoactive Potency Lower potency, milder effects High potency, strong effects
Anxiety and Paranoia Less likely to cause anxiety and paranoia More likely to cause anxiety and paranoia
Legal Status In a legal gray area, often more accessible Generally more regulated
Product Forms Gummies, vapes, tinctures Flower, oils, edibles, tinctures
Effects Relaxation, pain relief, reduced high Euphoria, relaxation, sensory enhancement
Usage Preferred by those seeking less intensity Preferred by those seeking strong effects

Is Delta 8 Legal?

The legality of Delta 8 THC varies significantly across the United States, mainly due to its unique status as a cannabinoid that can be derived from hemp (which is federally legal under the Farm Bill of 2018).

However, since Delta 8 THC is psychoactive, some states have moved to specifically regulate or ban its sale and use. As of now, it is legal in several states, but explicitly banned or restricted in others.

States where Delta 8 is generally legal:

States where Delta 8 is banned or restricted:

Can You Fly With Delta 8?

Traveling with Delta 8 THC can be risky due to the varying legal status of the substance across different jurisdictions. While Delta 8 THC is federally legal under the premise that it is derived from hemp containing less than 0.3% Delta 9 THC by dry weight, individual state laws can complicate this status.

When flying within the United States, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is primarily concerned with safety, not drug enforcement. However, if Delta 8 products are discovered during security screening, TSA may refer the matter to local law enforcement, who will enforce local laws which might not allow Delta 8.

Therefore, it is crucial to be aware of the laws regarding Delta 8 in both the departure state and the destination state when considering traveling with it.

How is Delta 8 Made?

Delta 8 THC is primarily produced through a chemical conversion process from cannabidiol (CBD), which is much more abundant in the hemp plant.

Here's an overview of how Delta 8 THC is typically synthesized:


  • Start with CBD: The process begins by extracting CBD from hemp, a type of cannabis plant that is low in Delta 9 THC but rich in CBD.
  • Extraction methods: Common extraction methods include CO2 extraction, ethanol extraction, or hydrocarbon extraction, depending on the desired purity and the specific manufacturing practices.


  • Chemical reaction: The extracted CBD is then subjected to a chemical reaction that typically involves acids or solvents.
  • Catalysts: Specific catalysts like p-toluenesulfonic acid or hydrochloric acid are used to rearrange the atoms in the CBD molecule, converting it into Delta 8 THC.


  • Refinement: After the chemical reaction, the mixture is refined to isolate the Delta 8 THC and remove any unwanted byproducts and solvents.
  • Distillation: Techniques like fractional distillation are used to further purify and concentrate the Delta 8 THC.

Testing and Analysis

  • Quality control: The final product is tested for purity, potency, and the presence of any residual solvents.
  • Third-party lab testing: Many producers opt for third-party lab testing to ensure the product meets legal and safety standards.

Types of Delta 8 Products

Delta 8 THC is available in various product forms, catering to different preferences and use cases. Here are some of the most popular types:

  • Delta 8 Gummies: These are edible forms of Delta 8 that offer a convenient and discreet way to consume Delta 8 THC. Gummies typically come in a variety of flavors and doses, making them popular among users looking for a controlled intake with a delayed, but extended release of effects.
  • Delta 8 Tinctures: These liquid extracts offer a way to consume Delta 8 THC orally or sublingually (under the tongue). Tinctures are known for their ease of use and the ability to quickly adjust dosages, providing fast-acting effects compared to edibles.
  • Delta 8 Vapes: Vaping is one of the fastest ways to experience the effects of Delta 8 THC. Delta 8 vape cartridges contain a concentrated form of Delta 8 THC oil, which can be used with a standard vape pen for immediate inhalation.
  • Delta 8 Capsules: For those who prefer precise dosages and a no-fuss, no-mess method of consumption, capsules offer a simple way to ingest Delta 8 THC.
  • Delta 8 Topicals: Although less common, topicals infused with Delta 8 THC are used for localized relief of discomfort and inflammation. These products are typically applied directly to the skin.
what is delta 8

Where to Buy Delta 8?

Delta 8 THC products can be purchased from a variety of sources, but it's important to choose reputable vendors to ensure the quality and legality of the product. Here are some common places where you can buy Delta 8:

  • Online Retailers: Many companies that produce Delta 8 THC sell directly to consumers through their websites. This can be a convenient option, as it often provides access to third-party lab results, product reviews, and detailed product descriptions.
  • Dispensaries: In states where Delta 8 is legal, local cannabis dispensaries may carry a range of Delta 8 products. Purchasing from dispensaries can be beneficial as you can receive guidance from knowledgeable staff.
  • Specialty Stores: Some health food stores or specialty shops may carry Delta 8 products, especially in areas where cannabis products are generally accepted.
  • Smoke Shops: Many smoke shops have expanded their inventory to include Delta 8 products due to growing consumer interest.

When purchasing Delta 8, always ensure the product has been tested by a third-party lab for potency and purity. This ensures you are getting a safe and legal product.

Final Thoughts

Delta 8 THC offers an intriguing alternative to Delta 9 THC, with milder psychoactive effects and potential benefits that include reduced anxiety and better pain management.

However, the regulatory landscape for Delta 8 is still evolving, and the market varies significantly between different states. As interest in Delta 8 continues to grow, so does the importance of informed decision-making.

Always ensure you are purchasing high-quality, tested products from reputable sources and stay informed about the legal status of Delta 8 in your jurisdiction.


What is the difference between Delta 8 and CBD?

Delta 8 THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid, while CBD is not. Delta 8 can induce a mild high and has similar pain-relieving properties to Delta 9 THC, whereas CBD is used primarily for its health benefits without psychoactive effects.

Can Delta 8 help with anxiety?

Many users report that Delta 8 helps reduce anxiety, which is less intense compared to Delta 9 THC and does not typically cause paranoia or heightened anxiety.

How do I dose Delta 8 products?

Dosing can vary widely based on the form of Delta 8 (e.g., gummies, tinctures, vapes) and individual tolerance. Start with a low dose, especially if you are new to THC products, and gradually increase until you find the right amount for your needs.

Can I use Delta 8 for sleep?

Delta 8 is known to have sedative effects that can promote sleep, making it a popular choice for those struggling with insomnia.

How long does it take for Delta 8 to work?

The onset of effects depends on the method of consumption. Vaping provides almost immediate effects, while edibles, like gummies, can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to kick in.

Is it safe to drive after taking Delta 8?

No, it is not safe to drive after consuming any psychoactive THC product, including Delta 8, as it can impair your ability to operate vehicles safely.

Does Delta 8 interact with other medications?

Delta 8 THC can potentially interact with other medications. It’s important to consult with a healthcare provider before starting to use Delta 8 if you are on other medications.

What should I look for when buying Delta 8 products?

Always look for products that provide third-party lab test results, which verify the product's potency and purity. Additionally, check reviews and research the brand to ensure they are reputable.