​Opinion: Why Delta 8 THC is the most important hemp cannabinoid, and why it should remain legal.

on 2022-01-11

​Opinion: Why Delta 8 THC is the most important hemp cannabinoid, and why it should remain legal.

Why Did Delta 8 THC become so popular?

Delta 8 THCis by far the most important cannabinoid, and undoubtably the most important discovery to come out of the legal hemp industry since CBD. Delta 8 is so much more than just a legal high, it has the power to change lives, and minds around the world. In the past 8 years, I have witnessed many products, companies, and even cannabinoids rise and fall in popularity. For many years, CBD was arguably the most important cannabinoid to come from the hemp plant, and it was widely loved and celebrated for its variety of medicinal benefits with non psychoactive effects. Other important “minor” cannabinoids such as CBG, CBC, and CBN are being explored, and contain many important uses and benefits, but no other cannabinoid is as widely popular or important as Delta 8 THC.

In early 2020, it became common knowledge in the hemp industry that CBD isolate could be easily and cheaply converted into D8 or Delta 8 THC. CBD and hemp had become an incredibly competitive market, that was hard for small businesses to operate and stay afloat. The rapid expansion of hemp farms fueled the race to the bottom, which happened between 2017 and 2019. This drastically reduced the steady prices of CBD isolate from $5,000-8,000 per kilo in 2015-2017, all the way down 90% to $500-800! Many farmers were driven out of business by the fierce competition, and many of the ones who survived the battle seized the opportunity to convert their CBD operation into a Delta 8 business. The process of converting the CBD to delta 8 THC raised the price from $500 to $5000 in the early days. Many people interpret the farm bill to certify Delta 8 THC as legal, because just like CBD and other cannabinoids, delta 8 come from hemp and can be made to contain under 0.3% delta 9 THC. Needless to say, the opportunities to make money from delta 8 were endless, and CBD companies quickly converted their efforts into delta 8 overnight.

How do the effects of Delta 8 THC compare to Delta 9 THC?

Delta 8 THC became so popular, that users ditched their regular CBD products for Delta 8 alternatives. Delta 8 took tremendous marketshare away from CBD, at least 70% by my estimates; but why did Delta 8 become so popular? Many critics denounce delta 8 THC as the legal form of its cousin “delta 9 THC” and just a way of getting high without getting in trouble. In reality, delta 8 THC is so much more than just a legal high. To really understand Delta 8 THC, we will have to take a step back and analyze its close cousin, delta 9 THC. Delta 9 THC is the traditional THC molecule in cannabis, which most people associate with the high and psychoactive effects that come from consuming cannabis.

Delta 9 THC does have tremendous medicinal potential, however it needs to be used very carefully and in a controlled setting. In my many years in the cannabis industry, At least 100 people have said to me “I can’t smoke weed anymore” or “I can’t take edibles” touting negative experiences that have turned them away from cannabis altogether. I always challenge these people and ask “what strains were you smoking?” or “how strong were the edibles that made you too high?” To which they generally have no clue. This issue is common because people take whatever improperly dosed edibles they have access to, or which every strains they can source with no thought to the different effects caused by different strains or varying doses of edibles. The effects of delta 9 THC vary tremendously depending on the user, and their tolerance. A new user might find substantial psychoactive effects from 2.5- 10mg of THC, while an experienced user with a high tolerance might be able to comfortably handle 100-200mg of THC. This large degree of variation causes a significant discrepancy between dosing with delta 9 THC, and is responsible for countless cannabis users having negative delta 9 THC experiences.

While taking too much Delta 9 THC will not cause a user to die, he or she still may experience side effects including but not limited to paranoia, anxiety, increased heart rate, perspiration, nausea, etc. The best thing a person who consumes too much THC can do is drink water, try to sleep off the effects, and if possible consume THC free CBD as it will negate the psychoactive effects. Delta 8 THC still needs to be taken in controlled doses, but it has way less potential for side effects compared to delta 9 THC. Delta 8 THC is reported to be about 1/3 as psychoactive as delta 9 THC, meaning that there is less potential to take too much. It is commonly reported that Delta 8 THC does not have as much of a tendency to cause paranoia, and anxiety compared to delta 9. Delta 8 THC is a reduced, and more mellow psychoactive form of THC when compared to delta 9, and therefore has less potential to over indulge.

What are the medical benefits of Delta 8 THC?

Delta 8 THC is a terrific alternative to delta 9 THC because it is not as potent, and therefore it is a great way for new or sensitive cannabis users to be introduced to THC. One of the reasons why delta 8 THC has become so popular is because it is reported to be much more anti-anxiolytic, sedative, and euphoric compared to delta 9 THC. Therefore, one can infer that Delta 8 THC has much more potential to treat psychological issues such as insomnia, depression, PTSD, anxiety, panic attacks, and so much more. Delta 8 has a lot of the healing benefits that CBD has to offer, with many of the psychoactive benefits of delta 9 THC, I view it as being very yin and yang as it is the best of both worlds! 

One of the terrific things about delta 8 THC is that it is changing peoples perspectives on cannabis. This perspective change provides the many users who have had bad experiences with cannabis or THC to have a second opportunity to experience the benefits of THC with less potential for side effects. People who have previously denounced cannabis, or had bad experiences with the plant are starting over and changing their opinions thanks to delta 8 THC.

Delta 8 THC is often reported as being an alternative to many mainstream medications. People are often telling me that they are able to ditch their traditional pain medications for Delta 8 THC, as it has analgesic properties and has been shown to help reduce pain. Delta 9 THC has very little potential to help treat pain on its own, making its cousin delta 8 THC an even stronger candidate for treating this widespread medical issue. Delta 8 THC is known to be sedative, therefore it has tremendous potential to help people struggling to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night, and those suffering from insomnia. The psychoactive effects of delta 8 THC are arguably more functional than that of delta 9 THC, because the high is less intense. Therefore, delta 8 could be used by experienced users in settings where a person might need the calming effects of THC without getting too “high” or being unable to properly function.

Why is delta 8 THC illegal in some states? Why are states banning delta 8 THC?

Many people are asking, if Delta 8 THC has so much medicinal potential, and it is so widely popular, why are states trying to make Delta 8 products illegal? this is quite a valid and confusing questions, considering that as delta 9 THC is becoming legal around the country, why on earth are we simultaneously banning its weaker THC counterpart? These are simple questions with complicated answers, that can be largely reduced to money and a lack of education. Delta 8 THC takes tax revenue and sales away from legal cannabis which in some cases are taxed as high as 39%! Suprisingly, many legal cannabis companies actually lobby against delta 8 THC because it takes market share away from legal companies. Delta 8 also takes away revenue from other influential sectors such as the pharmaceutical industry; as many people prefer natural plant based alternatives to synthetic lab made drugs. Therefore states, competing businesses, and politicians are financially motivated to ban delta 8 THC sales. Furthermore a general lack of knowledge and understanding of delta 8 is responsible to the fact that over 10 states in the US have already banned delta 8 to some extent. Many news outlets, media sources, and politicians falsely characterize delta 8 the as a dangerous legal high, which paints delta 8 in an untrue and negative way.

Regardless of the corrupt reasons why each state is choosing to ban delta 8 THC, my perspective has not changed. Delta 8 THC is the most important cannabinoid to come from hemp since CBD. Based off my observations, delta 8 THC has the potential to help so many people, from those struggling with insomnia, anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and so much more. Mental health is one of the biggest issues plaguing America, and the world today. The fact that Delta 8 THC has such large potential to help with mental health, means that we should not be banning it, and trying to get rid of delta 8. Instead, we need to study and explore delta 8 in controlled laboratory testing. The FDA and universities need to start studying the effects and potential benefits that Delta 8 THC has to offer. Rather than being motivated by money, we need to be motivated by our desire to help repair humanity and improve society. We started Zen Delta 8 as a way to provide quality Delta 8 THC products to consumers at affordable pricing. At Zen Delta 8, we want Delta 8 THC to be high quality, affordable, and accessible to all, because we truly believe in its profound medicinal potential. 

Note: This article is written from the prospective of someone who has been heavily involved in the CBD and Cannabis industry since 2014. All of this information is opinion based, and comes from experience and anecdotal observations throughout 8 long years in the cannabis industry.These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to cure, treat, diagnose, or prevent any disease