Delta-8 THC entered the cannabinoid scene in December 2020, and according to research firm Brightfield Group, conversations around delta-8 grew 163% from December 2020 to April 2021. Only six months into the trend, 23% of American CBD users are already aware of delta-8 THC.
First things first: What is delta-8?
Delta-8 is a “quasi-legal” cannabinoid that was legalized in the 2018 Farm Bill. This bill modified the definition of tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) to exclude THCs in hemp from the Controlled Substance Act (CSA). Any derivative, isomer, or cannabinoid of the hemp plant is considered hemp and no longer a controlled substance. This includes hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD), minor cannabinoids — and delta-8 THC.
While legal if derived directly from hemp, delta-8 occurs naturally at very low levels. Most delta-8 comes from a process of synthetically altering CBD into delta-8.
More research needs to be done on its effects, but delta-8 may provide the health benefits of CBD alongside a milder psychoactive high — and consumers are catching on fast. According to Brightfield Group, 28% of American CBD users are already aware of delta-8 THC in Q2 2021 — up from 19% in Q1. What’s more, 50% of those aware have purchased delta-8, and 20% report purchasing multiple times.
And several CBD brands now offer delta-8 products.
Delta-8’s future is very uncertain. For now, states are on their own, and some are banning or regulating delta-8. However, the DEA and FDA have both said they’ve started the rulemaking process.