What is the difference between THC, Delta-8 and CBD?

Hi Everyone,  As you all know I sell CBD products in my store and online.  I have recently been asked about Delta-8 so thought I would share my thoughts. 

What is the difference between THC, Delta-8 and CBD? 

THC’s scientific name is delta 9 TetraHydroCannabinol  and is the main compound in cannabis associated with the ‘high’. Marijuana strains typically maximize THC production.  Delta-8 is a variant of THC.   Both compounds have a chain of carbon atoms on their backbone but the difference is whether a double bond forms on the 8th or 9th carbon in the chain.  The Delta-8 form is considered much less potent but still can stimulate a “high” especially by doubling the dosage rate.

 Hemp strains maximize production of Cannabidiol (CBD and variants such as CBD-N) which do not get you high.  Our bodies make CBD naturally and CBD is part of our eicosanoid system which is the command and control network cells used to send chemical signals to each other.

How are Delta-9, Delta-8 and CBD Regulated?

Delta-9 THC has been the focus of the cannabis industry and is still considered a class 1 narcotic by the FDA. However, many states are ‘legalizing’ cannabis for recreational or medicinal purposes.  

In 2018 with the passage of the Hemp Farm Act,  CBD was removed from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)’s list of class one narcotics.  All legal CBD products are allowed to have trace amounts of THC up to .3%, not enough to for users to experience the high associated with delta-9 thc and the ruling didn’t cover Delta-8 at all.

Note that any claims that are made on the benefits of CBD are overseen by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) which is another can of worms and outside the scope of this article.

Delta-8 is in a gray regulatory space.   Delta-8 can be derived and concentrated from either hemp or cannabis.   Delta-8 has became popular in states where delta-9 THC is still illegal.  As it is less potent, the dosing rates have been pumped up by Delta-8 suppliers.  Is delta-8 extracted from hemp legal in all 50 states?  Not necessarily.  There are 11 states that that delta-8 derived from hemp is illegal.

The DEA has also proposed to classify delta-8 as a schedule 1 controlled substance along with THC regardless of whether it is derived from hemp or cannabis.  That ruling has yet to be adopted under the Biden administration.

How is Delta-8 Typically Made?

Hemp derived Delta-8 is easy to make from CBD Isolate but the extra processing steps make it more expensive.   Using two acids you can convert CBD isolate to Delta-8 but the yield 2% Delta-8/52%  Delta 9 and extra processing steps makes it more expensive.

Green Serene Full Spectrum CBD Oil

My full spectrum products are sourced from Snce Labs. Their Green Serene Full Spectrum CBD oil uses a unique, low temperature process that makes a nano emulsion containing all of the micronutrients found inside hemp plant cells.  This product has <.3% THC Delta-9.  Delta-8 is not measured by third party labs but the company internally estimates that Green Serene contains .1% Delta-8.  Given the lower potency and levels this quantity of Delta-8 is insufficient to induce a high and safe for use and distribution throughout the US. 


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