Does Delta 8 come from hemp?

By Dharma D8   |   May 11, 2021

We all want to understand where the products we use come from. That way, we can feel confident in what we’re using. Seeing as delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta 8 or D8 THC) has become increasingly popular in recent years, it’s probably helpful to talk about where it comes from. We here at DharmaD8 want to make sure that you have the best and most up-to-date information, so we are here to help guide you through this. Let’s get started talking about Delta 8 and where it comes from (spoiler alert, it’s hemp).

What is hemp?

Before we can dive into any more information about D8 THC, we need to talk about where it comes from. That is, we need to provide you with a quick definition of hemp.

Cannabis is a term that gets thrown around a lot, to the point where there is major confusion about what is being talked about when it’s used. It often gets used interchangeably with hemp and marijuana. But this is where a large amount of the confusion stems from. The words "hemp” and “marijuana” could technically be used interchangeably with “cannabis”, but only in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that hemp and marijuana are variations of cannabis. In this case, the word cannabis can be thought of as an overarching term to cover a specific class of plant.

Now the question is, how are hemp and marijuana different? In many ways, they are the same. They look the same and need the same things to grow. However, their differences are buried below the surface. These two plants have different concentrations of specific chemical compounds, called cannabinoids. We’ll examine these compounds in much more detail later because they are highly important. But for now, just know they exist. One of the cannabinoids can help define the difference between the two cannabis variations. It is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta 9 THC). That name should sound very familiar, and, like with cannabinoids, we’ll talk further about it in a little while. 

Delta 9 THC is the compound that can make a huge difference when it comes to cannabis plants. Marijuana is rich in Delta 9 THC, but hemp has a lower concentration of Delta 9 . This is the essential distinction you can make between these two plants. It has even helped determine the legal status of each of these plants. Because marijuana has so much Delta 9 THC, it is federally illegal (the reason will become clearer in a little while). Hemp, with so little Delta 9 THC, is federally legal because of the 2018 Farm Bill, which we’ll discuss soon.

Those are the main things you should know about hemp. Now, let’s get into Delta 8.

What is Delta 8?

This is where things really start to come together. Let’s start by fulfilling one promise, defining cannabinoids.

As mentioned, these are chemical compounds that are found in cannabis plants. They are pretty amazing. Cannabinoids are able to have an effect on the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). But what does that mean? The ECS is a system of receptors that you can find throughout the human body. They help it control various kinds of functions like memory and mood. Because cannabinoids can affect the ECS, they can affect these functions. D8 THC, like Delta 9 THC, is only one of more than 100 different cannabinoids that can be found in cannabis plants.

So, you’ve probably noticed something. Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC are cannabinoids with very similar names. That’s because they are very similar. But D8 THC is less notorious than Delta 9 THC. This is because they have slightly different effects. Delta 9 THC interacts with the ECS by binding tightly with receptors. This causes the feeling of euphoria that is often also known as a high. Delta 8 also causes a feeling of euphoria, but it is a bit different. When D8 THC binds with ECS receptors, its hold isn’t quite as tight as Delta 9 THC’s. So, the psychoactive feeling of euphoria is caused,  but this feeling is generally considered to be less intense and more bodily.

Great! You now have some of the basics of Delta 8 down, let’s move on to something a bit more in-depth.

What else can I expect from Delta 8?

While it is the more famous effect, a feeling of euphoria is far from the only thing that you might experience while using Delta 8. There are also some potential medicinal benefits that could come along with this cannabinoid. If you’re at all familiar with the potential benefits of Delta 9 THC, you might recognize some of these. That also takes us back to the fact that the two cannabinoids are so similar. Let’s explore some of them.

Help with pain and inflammation

If you’ve paid attention to any of the conversations surrounding cannabis in general, then you’ll probably already know that research points heavily towards Delta 9 THC having anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. It’s been one of the major arguments in favor of marijuana and hemp both being legalized. So, what does this mean for D8 THC? Delta 9 THC isn’t the only version of THC that has had research focused on it and pain relief. For example, this study found that the ECS receptor called CB1 is responsible for helping reduce inflammation caused by IBS. CB1 also happens to be the main ECS receptor that Delta 8 interacts with the most. Another study found that D8 THC was able to reduce pain in rats. These studies all suggest that there is some serious potential for Delta 8 to help people with pain and inflammation.

Help with anxiety

At first, this may be something that may leave you skeptical. It’s not uncommon to hear a story or two about someone using a little too much Delta 9 THC and starting to feel paranoid and having a little of a freak-out. How could anything like that help with anxiety? Well, there is research that indicates that using D8 THC at the right level may be able to help reduce anxiety. For example, this study found that the ECS has a lot to do with anxiety and related reactions. Furthermore, another study found it was CB1 in particular that has an effect on anxiety. Since Delta 8 loves the CB1 receptor, this suggests that it could help reduce anxiety. 

Help with asthma

Asthma can be such a struggle to deal with. While it can go into remission, small things can trigger it, like certain scents, air pollution, even acid reflux. So, looking for good ways to manage it is often a high priority for people who are affected by it. This study looked at how several cannabinoids affected asthma. The researchers found that D8 THC and Delta 9 THC were the most effective at triggering bronchodilation, which is when the muscles in the lungs relax, allowing for better airflow. While this is a subject that needs more research, the research that has been done on Delta 8 and asthma so far is incredibly promising and exciting. 

Before you go running off to give some D8 THC a try, looking for the effects that we’ve talked about, you should remember that cannabinoids like Delta 8 interact with every a bit differently. This is because everyone’s body chemistry is a bit different from everyone else. So, it’s possible that any effect that you may experience, some else may experience at a lesser level or not at all.

Because Delta 8 comes from hemp, is it legal?

As we talked about a bit above, you can find Delta 8 in hemp. You can also find it in marijuana, but it’s more exciting to find it in hemp for one big reason, hemp is federally legal. When hemp was federally legalized so were all the cannabinoids that you can find in hemp. This means that by default, Delta 8 is also federally legal. However, you should remember that “Federally legal” doesn’t mean that it’s legal in your state. This only means that it is legal at the federal level. There are some states and counties that have chosen to either keep hemp illegal or ensure that all forms of THC (including D8 THC) are illegal. So, Delta 8 may still be illegal where you live. Be sure to research your local laws before you buy any D8 THC products.

Different hemp and Delta 8 products

One of the most exciting things about hemp extracts, like Delta 8, is that they are very versatile. It’s easy to make them into any number of different products. As a result, you have a wide variety of options to choose from when shopping for a D8 THC product. Let’s talk about some of them.

Oils

Oils and tinctures are incredibly common products. This is because they are a more simplistic product, so they’re easy to make. They are made up of Delta 8 extract, a carrier oil, and maybe another essential oil to add some flavor or a boost. These oils can be used in a number of different ways. Many people will just take them straight, putting the oil drops directly into their mouths. Others will use them in their cooking or mix them in with a drink. Either way works just fine, choosing a method has everything to do with what your preferences are.

Smokables

This is a more traditional method of using hemp and D8 THC. People often prefer smoking while using things like hemp because it starts working faster and has better bioavailability. There are a few different smokable forms that you can buy Delta 8 in. One is a basic blunt or the hemp flower that you roll into a blunt yourself. Another is a vape pen or cartridge. Both work just fine. Picking the right one, just like choosing a method of using an oil, depends on what you prefer.

Edibles

While oils and smokables definitely have their charms and their fans, the most popular kind of product out there is edibles. This is understandable. After all, who doesn’t like a nice little treat every now and then? If you aren't sure, edibles are any food or drink that has been made with D8 THC extract. People love them because they are easy to take and manage, plus they taste great, especially Delta 8 gummies! However, it’s not all roses with edibles. They take the longest time for you to feel Delta 8’s effects. This is because there needs to be some digestion before any D8 THC can be released into your bloodstream. So, there’s a bit of a trade-off here.

There are a lot of other Delta 8 products that you can choose from. However, most of them fall into one of these categories. If there was one particular product that called to you more than the others, then you know what to look for. If you’re still unsure, you may want to give some from different categories a try. That way you can find the perfect D8 THC product.

Wrapping up

To definitively answer the main question of this article, yes, Delta 8 does come from hemp. D8 THC products in most states (with potentially the exception of those that have legalized marijuana) are made using hemp extract. Most of the time, these products will be full spectrum, meaning that they will have all the other cannabinoids found in hemp. This makes the effect stronger. But sometimes, certain cannabinoids will be filtered out, giving you a clearer D8 THC experience.

Now that you are all educated on Delta 8, are you ready to give some a try? If you are (and you’ve familiarized yourself with your local cannabis laws), check out what we have to offer here at DharmaD8. We have a bunch of different D8 THC products for you to pick from, so you’re bound to find something that you’ll love. You can check out our Delta 8 line here. Feel free to contact us with any comments, questions, or concerns that you may have through our contact page!

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