By now, you may have heard of delta-8, a relatively new cannabinoid that popped up in late 2020.
Delta-8 was legalized in most states thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, which effectively 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, which includes delta-8 THC.
According to market research firm Brightfield Group, social listening data shows conversations around delta-8 grew 163% from December 2020 to April 2021. Just six months into the trend, nearly a quarter (23%) of American CBD users were already aware of delta-8 THC.
So, who exactly is purchasing delta-8? And what do we know about this delta-8 consumer?
According to Brightfield Group, delta-8 consumers skew younger. The average age of a delta-8 purchaser is 34, and the majority (53%) are women. Delta-8 consumers also tend to be city-dwellers and cannabis users.
More scientific research is needed to confirm its effects, but delta-8 is considered by some to provide the health benefits of CBD alongside a milder psychoactive high. Thus, in the places where delta-9 THC is illegal, delta-8 is often seen as an affordable, convenient way to experience psychoactive cannabis.
It’s worth noting, too, that delta-8 purchasers currently use CBD for mental health conditions even more than the average CBD user. On social media, 20% of delta-8 conversations are around relaxation, compared to only 9% of CBD conversations.
All this considered, it makes sense then that the most popular reason for trying delta-8 is curiosity. According to Brightfield Group, 17% of delta-8 purchasers tried it to see what it was like.