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Cannabinoid Profile: What is Delta 8 THC?

Cannabinoids are the diverse chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. They play a pivotal role in the benefits and effects experienced by users. Among over a hundred cannabinoids, Delta-8 THC has gained traction because of a loophole in the 2018 Farm Bill. Read on to explore Delta-8’s effects, legal status, and its place in the cannabis conversation.


The image shows the delta 8 THC molecular structure
The difference between delta 8 THC and delta 9 THC is the location of the double bond in their carbon structures.

What is Delta-8 THC?

Delta-8 THC, short for delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol, is one of the lesser-known cannabinoids. Structurally, it is similar to its more famous relative, Delta-9 THC, the primary psychoactive component in cannabis. Despite their similarities, it has a slightly altered molecular structure that leads to a milder psychoactive experience.

Psychoactive Effects

Delta-8 THC can be described as a sort of middle ground between CBD and Delta-9 THC. Reported effects include a mild sedative physical sensation but without the intense head highs associated with Delta-9.

Users typically report a clear-headed, functional buzz with lower anxiety. This makes it appealing to those who may be sensitive to the more intense effects of Delta-9 THC.


A doctor taking the blood pressure of a patient - pexels thirdman 7659567
The health benefits (and risks) of delta 8 THC need more serious study to be fully understood.

Medical Applications

There is some evidence to suggest that the medical potential is similar to its more potent cousin. Delta-8 THC may be able to help alleviate pain, reduce nausea, and stimulate appetite.

These effects are worth noting, especially for patients undergoing treatments like chemotherapy, which can result in severe nausea and loss of appetite. However, medical research on the cannabinoid is still in its infancy.

Legal Status and Availability

The legality of Delta-8 THC is very complex and varies between jurisdictions. Technically speaking, the 2018 Farm Bill federally legalized hemp and its derivatives. This has led to a surge in the availability of products because of its trace presence in industrial hemp.

However, the question of its legality remains ambiguous. Some states have moved to specifically ban its use and sale on the “grey” market.


Two pre-rolled joints of delta 8 THC cannabis unsplash
Delta 8 THC products have seen a surge in popularity thanks to a 2018 Farm Bill loophole.

Recreational Use and Culture of Delta-8 THC

Recreational users enjoy its less potent psychoactive effects. This has helped make it a popular choice among a wide range of demographics.

It’s also gained a lot of traction through mail and subscription cannabis services. This, along with its sale at smoke shops around the country has helped to make this compound a part of the cannabis culture in states where it remains legal.

Is Delta 8 safe?

The safety of this cannabinoid is under a lot of scrutiny these days, as it is with all the cannabinoids gaining popularity. While we can’t definitively say that it’s safe, the key to safer use lies in knowledge.

One primary concern for safety is the need for potentially harmful chemicals to synthesize CBD into larger concentrations in the hemp plant. Since there isn’t any oversight in the process, there’s a potential for contaminated and unsafe products from bad manufacturing practices.

Understanding its effects, appropriate dosing, and the importance of sourcing high-quality, lab-tested products is key. Known side effects can be similar to those of Delta-9 THC, including dry mouth, red eyes, and short-term memory impairment, but are typically less severe.

Economic Implications

Delta-8 THC has carved out a niche in the cannabis market. Its legality in certain states has contributed to a flourishing retail and by-mail industry. These products have become an economic driver. Not just for producers and retailers but also for auxiliary industries like lab testing and product development.

Delta 8 THC vs Delta 9 THC

The differences between delta 8 vs delta 9 are subtle but important:


Delta 8 THC is an isomer of Delta 9 THC. This means that the molecular structure is slightly different from that of Delta 9 THC, with a double bond on the carbon structure in a slightly different spot.


It’s is often considered less potent and psychoactive than Delta-9 THC. This distinction has made it particularly attractive to those seeking a moderate alternative to traditional cannabis products and to markets looking to capitalize on its semi-legal status.


Delta 8 THC requires chemical processes to create concentrations high enough to produce psychoactive effects, while Delta 9 THC occurs naturally in larger quantities (around 0.3% by weight) in the cannabis plant. The need for potentially unsafe chemicals to produce Delta 8 THC, along with the lack of research on long-term effects raises safety concerns.

Final Thoughts

Delta-8 THC is a compound with increasing popularity and interest, situated at a crossroads between acceptance and regulatory oversight. As it stands, its in a place of cautious curiosity in the cannabis industry, promising potential therapeutic benefits and a lighter recreational experience.

The narrative of cannabinoids is evolving as we continue to explore the intricacies of cannabis and its compounds. As research continues, so will our understanding of its place in the market and the lives of those who choose to use it.


The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018
Delta-8 THC use in US adults
Potency and safety analysis of hemp delta-9 products

General Cannabis FAQ

Cannabis, often referred to as marijuana, is a plant that has been used for thousands of years for various purposes, including medicine, textiles, and recreation. The plant contains compounds known as cannabinoids, with delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) being the most well-known. THC is primarily responsible for the plant’s psychoactive effects, while CBD is recognized for its potential therapeutic benefits without causing a “high.”

Many countries and U.S. states have decriminalized or legalized the use of marijuana for medical use, recreational, or both. The legal status changes frequently as legislation evolves.

In the U.S., states vote to regulate marijuana use on an individual basis. While it remains illegal at the federal level, numerous states have legalized it for medicinal and/or recreational use.

The following states have legalized medical, recreational, or both:

  • Alaska – Medical
  • Arizona – Legal
  • Arkansas – Medical
  • California – Legal
  • Colorado – Legal
  • Connecticut – Legal
  • Delaware – Legal
  • District of Columbia – Legal
  • Florida – Medical
  • Hawaii – Medical (Possession decriminalized for small amounts)
  • Illinois – Legal
  • Louisiana – Medical (Possession decriminalized for small amounts)
  • Maine – Legal
  • Maryland – Legal
  • Massachusetts – Legal
  • Michigan – Legal
  • Minnesota – Legal
  • Mississippi – Medical (Possession decriminalized for small amounts)
  • Missouri – Legal
  • Montana – Legal
  • Nevada – Legal
  • New Hampshire – Medical (Possession decriminalized for small amounts)
  • New Jersey – Legal
  • New Mexico – Legal
  • New York – Legal
  • North Dakota – Medical (Possession decriminalized for small amounts)
  • Ohio – Medical (Possession decriminalized)
  • Oklahoma – Medical
  • Oregon – Legal
  • Pennsylvania – Medical
  • Rhode Island – Legal
  • South Dakota – Medical
  • Utah – Medical
  • Vermont – Legal
  • Virginia – Legal
  • Washington – Legal
  • West Virginia – Medical


Outside of the U.S., countries like The Netherlands, Canada, and, more recently, Thailand have legalized cannabis on a national level.

Always check local laws and regulations in your specific location.

In states where marijuana has been legalized, you can purchase products at licensed dispensaries. Revolution products are available at Enlightened, Revolution, and partner dispensaries in Illinois, Arkansas, Missouri, and Maryland. Find a dispensary near you.

Keep in mind that dispensaries may cater to medical patients, recreational consumers, or both, depending on local laws.

Always ensure that you are buying from a reputable and licensed establishment to guarantee product quality and safety.

The effects of cannabis vary widely depending on the strain, dosage, method of consumption, an individual’s endocannabinoid system, and more.

Some commonly reported effects include:

Psychoactive Effects: Euphoria, mood elevation, cerebral stimulation, stress relief, calming effects, and relaxation.

Physical Effects: Pain relief, body buzz, anti-inflammation, anti-nausea, energy boost or sedation, and appetite stimulation

*Medical Benefits: Cannabis is believed to have a range of therapeutic effects and alleviation of symptoms related to conditions like epilepsy, PTSD, and more.

*Marijuana is not approved by the FDA to treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

The primary difference lies in their intended use:

Medical Cannabis: Used as a treatment and alleviation of symptoms for specific health conditions. Medical strains might be cultivated and processed to have higher CBD content or other therapeutic compounds. Medical cannabis requires a physician who usually prescribes or recommends it as a treatment option.

Recreational Cannabis: Used without a medical justification but for personal enjoyment and fulfillment.

The process varies from state to state but typically involves the following steps:

Doctor’s Recommendation: Schedule an appointment with a physician who is authorized to recommend medical marijuana. Discuss your health conditions and reasons for seeking cannabis as a treatment.

Application: Once you have a doctor’s recommendation, you’ll usually need to apply for a medical marijuana card through a designated state or country agency.

Proof & Identification: Provide necessary identification and proof of residency as required by your jurisdiction.

Fee Payment: Most jurisdictions require a fee for the application and issuance of a medical marijuana card.

Card Issuance: Once approved, you will receive your medical marijuana card, allowing you to purchase cannabis at designated medical dispensaries.

If you’d like more detailed information, please read our state-specific medical card guide here.