Delta 8 Tetrahydrocannabinol: An Overview

Delta 8 Tetrahydrocannabinol: An Overview

Delta-8-THC is a lesser-known cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant, distinct from the well-known cannabinoids tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). While THC is known for its psychoactive effects and CBD has become popular in wellness and beauty products, Delta-8-THC is gaining attention due to a legal loophole that allows its processing and sale by various vendors in the US.

Delta-8-THC shares a similar chemical structure with Delta-9-THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis. Anecdotal reports suggest that Delta-8-THC elicits a more mellow high than Delta-9-THC, making it suitable for those who experience anxiety or paranoia while using the latter. Additionally, studies have documented Delta-8-THC’s antiemetic, anxiolytic, appetite-stimulating, analgesic, and neuroprotective properties.

However, there is controversy regarding the legality of Delta-8-THC. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp-derived cannabinoids if produced in compliance with state and federal regulations. Some argue that Delta-8-THC derived from legal hemp material falls under this category. However, the US Drug Enforcement Administration’s Interim Final Rule on hemp production suggests that all synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols remain schedule I controlled substances.

While the DEA has declined to comment on the legality of Delta-8-THC until finalizing its interim final rule on hemp, there are concerns about consumer safety and regulation of production practices. Many believe that synthesizing CBD into Delta-8-THC is not a natural process and could result in compounds that are not naturally occurring or safe for consumers.

In conclusion, while Delta-8-THC presents therapeutic benefits and a “cannabis-lite” high, its legality remains ambiguous pending further regulation and research. The finalization of the DEA’s interim final rule on hemp will determine whether Delta-8-THC is the first federally legal tetrahydrocannabinol or if its current spotlight will end.

Dr. Paul Miller, MD

Dr. Miller is committed to finding new and innovative ways to help his patients manage their symptoms and improve their overall quality of life. He has a particular interest in the therapeutic potential of medical cannabis and is passionate about educating both his colleagues and patients on its safe and effective use. He is also committed to continuing his education and staying up-to-date on the latest advances in neurology and cannabis research.

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