Let's Go Get High On Hemp!
John Lothian News
“Hemp processors have reportedly been buying excess flower and distillate currently on the market to make Delta-8 THC.” Hemp Today, March 29, 2021
Will transforming hemp-based CBD into mildly psychoactive Delta-8 THC save industrial hemp production? It’s complicated.
The common wisdom is that a person does not get high smoking industrial hemp leaves, stems or flowers. We have been following news reports, including those from PanXchange’s monthly benchmark reports, about the growing interest in smokable hemp flower. While the hemp flower, particularly from specialty strains, is known to carry heavy concentrations of non-psychotropic CBD, it turns out that a lot of the demand for smokable hemp flower is associated with the practice of coating it with Delta-8 THC.
Marijuana, industrial hemp’s popular sibling, distinguishes itself from industrial hemp by containing at least 0.3% Delta-9 THC. The presence of sufficient Delta-9 THC makes marijuana a controlled substance. For the most part, laws don’t mention Delta-8 THC. As you might expect, Delta-8 and -9 THC are chemically similar.
As we have mentioned in our columns before, cannabis contains a large number of compounds — maybe 500 or so, about 115 of which are cannabinoids. Cannabinoids react with receptors throughout the body. They are referred to simply as cannabinoid receptors, “CBs.” Delta-8 THC reacts with CB2 receptors and Delta-9 THC reacts with CB1 receptors in humans. CB2 receptors are found mostly in bodily organs and extremities while CB1 receptors are situated throughout the human nervous system.
Apparently, Delta-8 provides users with some of the relaxing and calming effects associated with Delta-9 THC use, as well as a lighter dose of a psychotropic high. So where has this Delta-8 THC been hanging out? It was hiding in very small amounts in plain sight as a naturally occurring cannabinoid, right next to Delta-9 THC and CBD.
Delta-8 can be synthesized from Delta-9 THC or CBD. A major provider in the legal Florida medical marijuana market, Trulieve, offers Delta-8 THC products which, it claims, provide similar appetite-boosting and antiemetic benefits to cancer sufferers but with fewer anxiety-inducing side effects.
As a licensed medical cannabis provider, Trulieve derives all of its Delta-8 THC from Delta-9 THC contained in marijuana-grade cannabis plants.