What is Delta 8 THC and How is it Grown or Extracted?

Delta-8-THC is a slightly euphoric isomer of psychoactive delta-9-THC. It is found in many cannabis varieties, but usually in negligible concentrations. Extracting and isolating Delta 8 from the raw plant with less than 1% per dry mass would be prohibitively expensive. That's why manufacturers have started implementing the conversion process, extracting Delta 8 from key cannabinoids, such as CBD or delta 9 THC.

Delta 8 THC is now a big hit in the hemp derivatives market; you can now find Δ8 THC products of any kind, such as tinctures, soft capsules, edibles and vaporizers, and are available at countless retailers. Although Delta 8 is technically derived from hemp, its concentrations in hemp are only 1%, which is not enough for manufacturers to extract usable quantities of the cannabinoid. Therefore, they use CBD extracted from hemp or other cannabinoids to convert them to Delta 8 THC in the laboratory. Although manufactured in the laboratory, Delta 8 THC is not a synthetic cannabinoid and, since it is found in hemp and made with ingredients derived from hemp, it is still a compound derived from hemp.

Once manufacturers extract CBD from hemp, they use a simple isomerization process that chemically adjusts the isolated CBD and converts it to Delta 8 THC. In fact, the extraction of Delta 8 THC is a much less complicated process than you would expect; however, there are some risks and precautions that you should not ignore. The vast majority of THC is converted to CBN as the plant ages; CBN is a potent sedative that can be used in combination with delta 9 THC for sleep disorders. Despite its simplicity, the process of converting CBD to Delta 8 requires aggressive chemicals to catalyze this reaction, which can leave unwanted by-products in the final extract.

Hemp-derived Delta-8 is overcoming legal and semantic gaps, and is also relatively cheap to produce in a laboratory. Delta 8 THC products are becoming increasingly popular, but the scarcity of the compound may make you wonder how manufacturers produce Delta 8 from hemp. As mentioned, Delta 8 is a non-synthetic cannabinoid that occurs naturally in the cannabis plant, but is more commonly produced in a laboratory for the reasons mentioned above. Instead, most companies make Delta 8 THC products with hemp-derived CBD, converting them into the compound.

Although you've probably heard of THC and its effects before, Delta 8 is markedly different from the famous Delta 9 THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. All products made with Delta 8 THC from marijuana are labeled as Schedule 1 drugs and are only legal in states with their own adult marijuana laws. Except for a few states that have their own laws that prohibit all forms of THC (including delta), most of them have no problem with this cannabinoid. It is important for consumers to know that delta-8 products with THC have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA for safe use in any context. CBD is a much more common compound in hemp, so the standard method for creating Delta 8 THC is to extract CBD from hemp and using the isolate to convert it to Delta 8.

Ethel Sweetwood
Ethel Sweetwood

Unapologetic organizer. General twitter buff. Friendly social media expert. Infuriatingly humble coffee nerd. Proud tv nerd. Evil tv scholar.

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