What is Delta-8 THC?

What is Delta-8 THC?

Delta-8 THC is a cannabis compound that has become popular because of its similarity to Delta-9 THC, the main compound in marijuana that gets you high, causing euphoria, happiness, sedation, symptom relief, and much more.

The similarities between the two cannabinoids lie in their chemical structures and their names. Delta-9 THC’s scientific name is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or Delta-9 THC, or just plain old Delta-9. Delta-8 is short for delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol, or Delta-8 THC.

Delta-8 THC can cause effects similar to Delta-9 THC—but they will be much less powerful.

Currently, the legality of Delta-8 THC is hazy. Because of the 2018 farm bill, hemp can be legally grown and used for extractions all over the United States, making Delta-8 THC legal in states where Delta-9 THC may be  illegal.

Nearly all Delta-8 THC on the market today is manufactured from hemp-derived CBD, which makes it, in theory at least, part of a federally legal chain of origin.

Will Delta-8 THC get you high?

Delta-8 THC will get you high, albeit not as high as common Delta-9 THC. Some consumers may even prefer cannabis products that aren’t as strong as common THC, even if they can legally obtain THC products. THC can cause negative effects for some, bringing on anxiety or paranoia. Delta-8 may offer a smoother, milder high.

How long does a Delta-8 THC high last?

A Delta-8 THC high will last as long as a high from regular THC, but the high will be less strong. How long it lasts depends on how much you consume—if you hit a vape or smoke Delta-8 flower, it can last an hour or more, and if you take some gummies, they can last a few hours.

Benefits of Delta-8 THC

Delta-8 THC is similar to Delta-9 THC and consumers can get some of the same benefits from consuming it. Some conditions Delta-8 can help with include:

  • Pain relief

  • Insomnia

  • Anxiety

  • Nausea

Effects of Delta-8 THC

Delta-8 THC consumers report many of the same effects as Delta-9 THC, such as mild euphoria, happiness, uplifting feelings, and relief from some symptoms such as pain, although the compound is much less potent. Delta-8 can also help with insomnia.

Side effects may be similar to those of Delta-9 THC, including dry mouth, red eyes, getting the munchies, short-term memory loss, paranoia, or anxiety. It’s important to note that Delta-8 THC hasn’t been studied extensively and more research is needed on the effects it has on the mind and body.

How much Delta-8 THC should I take?

For most people, especially moderate or experienced consumers, Delta-8 THC will feel much weaker than regular Delta-9 THC. If you are new to cannabis, Delta-8 THC could affect you strongly—it depends on your body chemistry. To give a sense of Delta-8 THC’s potency relative to Delta-9 THC, Delta-8 THC edible producers commonly measure and dose their gummies at more than twice the strength of Delta-9 THC gummies:


  • Delta-9 THC often comes in 10mg gummies—people may take half a gummy or a full gummy for a dose, either 5mg or 10mg.

  • Delta-8 THC gummies often come in 25mg gummies—so half of one would be 12.5mg, and a full gummy is 25mg.

In creating these standard gummies, producers are calculating that Delta-8 is less than half as strong as regular Delta-9 THC, so a 25mg Delta-8 THC gummy might equate to the effects of a 10mg Delta-9 THC gummy.

It’s always recommended to just take a little at first and then wait for the onset of effects before taking more. The consumption method will affect how quickly you feel those effects. If you’re vaping Delta-8 THC, you should feel the effects within ten minutes or less; if taking edibles, wait at least an hour or two before taking more.

Does Delta-8 THC show up on a drug test?

The short answer is: probably.

Research on Delta-8 THC is still in its infancy, so whether or not it will show up on a drug test is not fully known. As it is a cannabinoid similar to Delta-9 THC, or regular THC, we think it’s safe to assume that any test for Delta-9 THC will also show Delta-8 THC. But how the compound interacts with your body, how it differs from Delta-9 interactions, and how long it stays in your system is still unknown. If you know you are getting a drug test, it’s probably best to play it safe and abstain from consuming Delta-8 THC.