Modern science has opened the doors to cannabinoid extraction and conversion, allowing for the creation of novel cannabinoids.
Delta 8 THC is not an artificial compound, but despite its natural presence in hemp, it can only be created in labs in large quantities. How exactly is delta 8 THC made? This article offers everything you need to know about the process scientists use to make delta 8 THC.
What Is Delta 8 THC?
Delta 8 THC is one of the 115 natural cannabinoids of the cannabis plant. It’s around 50% to 75% as potent as delta 9 THC and features a mellower, more sedative high.
Delta 9 THC is the primary intoxicating cannabinoid in marijuana, while CBD is the main active and non-intoxicating cannabinoid in hemp. Delta 8 THC is stronger than CBD, and many describe it as better than delta 9 THC because its consumption doesn’t typically cause paranoia, anxiety, too much drowsiness, and couch lock.
While side effects are certainly common (especially in large doses), delta 8 is milder on the adverse effects than delta 9 THC. It gives the user an incredibly blissful sensation and deep relaxation that relieves aches and pains and calms the mind. After the effects wear off, the user might feel an improved appetite and sleep solidly through the night.
Does Cannabis Contain Delta 8 Naturally?
Yes, delta 8 can be found naturally in cannabis.
But, the cannabis plant doesn’t synthesize delta 8 the way it synthesizes cannabinoids like delta 9 or cannabidiol (CBD).
Delta 8 THC is the result of the natural degradation of delta 9 THC. Over time, delta 9 breaks down into other cannabinoids, and that process is accelerated when the cannabis flower is exposed to environmental conditions due to improper storage. The degradation process turns the majority of the component into cannabinol (CBN), and only a small fraction converts to delta 8 THC.
So, cannabis does produce delta 8 THC naturally, but in minuscule amounts and not in the traditional way. Cannabis exists in nature as marijuana and hemp. Hemp contains high levels of the non-intoxicating cannabinoid CBD and less than 0.3%% delta 9 THC, while marijuana contains high levels of delta 9 THC.
Although marijuana is more likely to create higher concentration of delta 8 THC, both types of plants synthesize delta 8 in trace amounts.
Because marijuana is a Schedule I substance on a federal level and is banned in over 30 states, most delta 8 THC available on the market is derived from hemp. But, there’s a catch. Isolating this compound in trace amounts is not a financially viable option for manufacturers, so to create it in larger amounts, they rely on science. Thanks to advanced science, manufacturers now take hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) and convert it into delta 8 THC using isomerization.
How Is Delta 8 Made?
Delta 8 THC is made using a simple process of cannabis conversion known as isomerization.
It’s a basic process that’s already existed in chemistry and has been used to convert other chemical substances into a more desirable form — like butane into isobutane. The three general steps involved in creating a delta 8 distillate are:
Prepare the CBD extract.
One of the most common (and patented) ways of making delta 8 is by using CBD. So, makers extract the CBD by running CO2 through raw hemp material — like they would to prepare CBD isolate. After evaporating the CO2, they’re left with pure CBD distillate that contains no other terpenes and cannabinoids.
Chemical conversion of CBD to delta 8.
The second step is to take the CBD distillate and convert it into delta 8 distillate through the process of isomerization.
Test the final product.
Once the manufacturer has the final delta 8 extract, they test it to make sure there are no residual by-products left.
What Exactly Goes Into Isomerizing CBD Into Delta 8 THC
Delta 8 was discovered by Raphael Mechoulam, Webster, and Sarna, who patented a variation of creating delta 8 using CBD. Based on the patent, the creation of this cannabinoid goes something like this:
- First, CBD is dissolved into a solvent because delta 8 doesn’t go well with ethanol extraction.
- Then comes adding acid to the solvent to reduce pH. The mixture of solvent and acid is stirred for at least 18 hours.
- This is followed by neutralizing the acid and removing the solvent by using sodium bicarbonate.
- Next, the extract is distilled to isolate and is a concentrated delta 8 THC.
- Finally, the distillate is tested in a lab using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) because conversion is never fully done and the distillate might contain toxic by-products.
What Is Isomerization?
CBD and delta 8 can be converted from one into another because they are isomers.
Isomers are chemical compounds that contain the same number of atoms of each element — identical molecular formula: C21H30O2, but in a distinct arrangement. So, each cannabinoid contains the same components, only arranged in a different way.
Through isomerization, the molecules rearrange and transform from one cannabinoid into another. This process can naturally occur for various reasons, including changes in pH and temperature, but when a compound is being transformed in a lab, it’s likely with the help of a chemical catalyst. To achieve a substance that’s free from chemicals, labs use the first two methods.
Is Isomerized Delta 8 THC Safe?
It all depends on who’s making it.
The process of making delta 8 can be tricky, and there are several risks associated with it. One of the main risks is contaminating the final product with dangerous by-products. If the manufacturer uses contaminated materials, the final extract can contain toxic residues.
Therefore, labs monitor the reactions very closely due to the possibility of chemical spikes occurring. Some manufacturers start with a 99.9% CBD isolate, but the final result is rarely a 99.9% delta 8 THC isolate. Other components, oftentimes harmful, can take place. Sometimes, makers end up with a mix of delta 8 and delta 9, which makes the product illegal.
There can be a huge variation in delta 8 potency in each product offered on the market. The safety and transparency depend on the manufacturer.
Types of Delta 8 THC Products on the Market
Hemp-derived and marijuana-derived delta 8 THC products are available for sale on the current market.
Hemp delta 8 is legal on a federal level, except in those states that have banned the use and consumption under state laws. Marijuana-derived delta 8 THC is not legal on a federal level and is sold only in several states where recreational and medical marijuana is permitted. Currently, delta 8 is available in an array of different products, including:
Delta 8 THC gummies provide a delicious, dose-precise, and fun way to consume this cannabinoid. Some hemp gummies on the market are infused with pure, potent delta 8 THC distillate, while others use full spectrum extract that blends several cannabinoids like CBD, delta 8 and HHC.
Mr. Hemp Flower features vegan gummies in several strengths — 10 mg, 20 mg, 25 mg, or 50 mg per gummy — and various flavors, including green apple, passion fruit, and black cherry vanilla. Depending on your tolerance, you can start with half a gummy and increase the dose accordingly.
Flower & Pre-Rolls
Mr. Hemp Flower is the premium supplier of CBD-rich flower with added delta 8 distillate. Almost every CBD flower we carry is available as a delta 8 THC blend or as pre-rolls. We always carry a new strain selection, so you’ll never get bored or run out of options with us. We make sure the pre-rolls are dosed in a way that will ensure a blissful experience.
Delta 8 hash, shatter, wax … concentrates are all the rage with lovers of hemp products. Perfect for vaporizing in a dab rig or a dab pen, we offer CBD hash enhanced with delta 8 THC. Out of 61% total cannabinoids, 50% go to delta 8 THC and 11% to CBD. This highly potent concentrate comes from the premium strain Afghani Hash.
Capsules are perfect for medical marijuana patients and everyone looking into the medicinal properties of delta 8 THC. They offer a precise dose and come in a discreet package. Mr. Hemp Flower offers thirty 30 mg delta 8 oil softgel capsules per bottle. Our softgels are easy to swallow, kick in fast and give you instant relief.
From chocolate bars to honey sticks, delta 8 THC products come in different shapes and sizes. We keep our product line fresh and fun, so you’ll never run out of new things and cannabinoids to try. Our Delta 8 chocolate bars will melt in your mouth but not in your package because we have a strict shipping policy that assures timely and intact delivery during the warm months.
Why Buy Delta 8 THC from Mr. Hemp Flower?
Mr. Hemp Flower is a premium supplier of original CBD flower enhanced with delta 8 THC and other cannabinoids. Countless positive reviews testify to our dedication to providing products that enrich and impact the lives of our customers.
We put the finest natural ingredients in our products and rely on organic farms in Colorado and Oregon for CBD-rich hemp flower. We collaborate with local farmers that we trust to provide pesticide-free hemp flower that get properly tested and come with a Certificate of Analysis. Each order is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
There’s no other way for the user to be certain the product is pure unless it’s tested. The testing process involves sending a small sample to the lab where it goes through a series of precision analyses to see what’s inside. Our labs check for toxic substances, cannabinoid levels, common contaminants like solvents, pesticides, and heavy metals. So, when you check the lab test and see that the product is clean, you can rest assured it doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients.
Conclusion: How is Delta 8 Made?
Although delta 8 THC is naturally occurring in hemp, it can be found only in minuscule amounts. As an alternative to the expensive and complicated extraction of natural delta 8, makers use the simple process of isomerization.
Using chemical conversion of CBD to make delta 8 still keeps the cannabinoid natural, but you should check the law in each state to make sure it’s permitted to buy it.
Delta 8 THC is a naturally occurring cannabinoid in the hemp plant. Because it’s found in trace amounts in cannabis, it’s typically created in a lab, which makes it semi-synthetic.
Delta 8 THC is not the same as CBD. The main difference between the two is that delta 8 THC is an intoxicating cannabinoid, while CBD doesn’t get you high.
Delta 8 THC is isomerized from hemp cannabidiol. The final delta 8 extract may contain harmful by-products, so beware who you’re buying this cannabinoid from.
A great way to maximize the effects of delta 8 THC is to mix it with CBD. This will create the entourage effect and cause a stronger but more balanced reaction. You can also mix it with delta 9 and HHC.