Is Delta-8 THC Synthetic? What You Need To Know When Buying D8

Is Delta-8 THC Synthetic

Is Δ8-THC synthetic (spice)? While retailers may not agree on the definition, research has the facts!

Fine traces of Δ8-THC can be found as a phytocannabinoid in the hemp plant & extracted for use. Low quality delta 8 THC can also be intentionally synthesized from chemicals. Other quality types of delta 8 THC are prepared via the isomerization of CBD. 

With Δ8-THC being a great alternative for a “legal high”, we’ll discuss below exactly how all the different types of delta 8 THC can be made. Let’s dive in!

Is Delta-8 THC Synthetic?

While Δ8-THC can be made in the lab, it’s usually derived from the hemp plant’s material. 

Since Δ8-THC is a position-stereoisomer of Δ9-THC while closely resembling CBD, it can be derived from either of these compounds. 

Δ8-THC can also be extracted purely from some strains of cannabis, even though it’s only present in negligible amounts. 

Learn more: Does Delta-8-THC Show Up On Drug Tests?

Therefore it can be difficult to get a reasonable amount of Δ8 extract simply from phytoextraction from the hemp plant alone. 

To make up for this deficiency, chemists often prefer full or semi-synthesis of delta 8 THC. 

Is Delta-8 Safe If It’s Prepared In A Lab?

As with every drug, legal or illegal, it’s important that you seek advice from your family physician before starting any prescription. 

While Δ8-THC is known to be relatively safe and stable, even more stable than Δ9-THC, the quality of your cannabinoid will heavily depend on its origin. 

Therefore it’s recommended that you only buy Δ8-THC from trusted legal sources, such as quality delta 8 THC disposable vapes from The Tiny Dancer.

It is worth noting that Δ8-THC is legal in most states

Thus you can order delta 8 THC and have it shipped directly to your doorsteps with no concerns whatsoever.

Learn more: Is Delta 8 THC Safe? What You Need To Know Before Trying D8

Is Delta-8 THC K2?

When we think about synthetic cannabinoids or K2 we think about highly addictive crystals that can be ferocious in side effects, even deadly. 

Yet, in reality, a synthetic cannabinoid is simply an analogue or a molecule that resembles a cannabinoid molecule. 

In the case of Δ8-THC, a synthetic molecule would be reasonably identical to what’s found in nature. 

The only difference between plant based delta 8 and synthetic cannabinoids is the synthetic route allows a more generic distribution. 

Similar to delta 9 THC, Δ8-THC is also an agonist to the CB1 and CB2, cannabinoid receptors and will trigger a physiological response upon the psychoactive molecule locking in and binding to the cannabinoid receptors. 

With both D8 and D9 binding to the same receptor, they are expected to provide the same overall effects. 

Even though both psychoactive cannabinoids produce similar effects from binding to the same receptor, Δ8-THC has been found to be less efficient than its delta-9 counterpart. 

Since delta 8 THC is less efficient in the receptor binding process, the resulting effect is approximately half the potency of Δ9-THC.

Learn more: Delta-8-THC - Complete Guide To The Next Best Cannabinoid

K2 on the other hand tends to be a lower grade cannabinoid that tries to mimic the effects of THC by binding to the same cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2). 

The synthetic K2 cannabinoids are often very different in molecular structure yet similar in shape to the plant based delta 8 phytocannabinoids extracted from hemp. 

Due to the synthetic K2 cannabinoid binding to similar receptors, yet, having a different overall shape, it’s still able to almost properly bind to the cannabinoid receptors -- potentially causing several unknown and unaccounted for side effects.

Side effects of synthetic K2 cannabinoids are mostly unknown and simultaneously very poorly researched. 

Yet, when it comes to Δ8-THC, we know that it should not behave differently from its natural counterpart as they are chemically the same compounds.

How To Make Delta-8 THC From CBD?

The following will describe one of several different potential methods and necessary basics steps required in order to successfully convert CBD extracted from hemp into delta-8 THC

While the method described below might not be the most efficient isomerization reaction, it’s one of the simplest to understand and follow to achieve an initial understanding of potential methods in converting CBD into delta 8 THC. 

NOTICE. We do not condone the use or the manufacture of legal or illegal psychoactive substances and therefore recommend that you do not try this at home. This information is for entertainment purposes only.

  1. CBD (1g/not bud) is dissolved in H2SO4 (10mL/0.005M) in iced acetic acid.

The solution should be allowed to rest at RTP (room temperature and pressure) for 3 days after which a mixture of 15% Δ9-THC, 54% Δ8-THC, 10% Δ8-iso-THC, 10% CBD will be formed. 

The acid is used to hydrate the double bond of CBD making it into an OH which then reacts with the existing OH to form an epoxide ring. 

This forms Δ9-THC which then breaks down to its more stable isomer Δ8-THC.

Work up: (isolation of Δ8-THC)

  1. H2O (100mL+) is added dropwise while steering. (note that the reaction mixture will foam).
  2. Excess sodium bicarbonate (>4.2mg) is added and mixed until an alkaline pH is obtained.

Step 3 is done to neutralize the acid present in excess.

  1. A partition is established between an aqueous and an organic layer to isolate the Δ8-THC and Δ9-THC. 
  2. A chromatography can be performed to separate the two isomers.

While the above may sound like a complex method for converting CBD into delta 8 THC, it’s one of the most simple and gentle methods.

How To Make Delta-8 Distillate?

The following describes the distillation process of Δ8-THC as differentiation from its other compounds. 

Once again, we do not encourage the use of legal or illegal psychotropic substances. Methods described may contain hazards such as fire hazards, acid corrosions, and poisoning. 

This may lead to severe injury and even death. The following information is for entertainment purposes only and should by no means be repeated at home.

  1. Δ9-THC is mixed with an acidic solvent in the presence of alumina silicate.
  2. The mixture is swirled and placed in a boiling flask.
  3. Boiling chips are added and a fractional distillation apparatus is set up.
  4. The mixture is allowed to heat under high heat until all the distillate is collected from the condenser. 

Through this mechanism, the mixture of acid and alumina silicate has caused the re-arrangement of atoms from Δ9-THC to Δ8-THC. 

This end product must be neutralized and purified using TLC (thin layer chromatography).

Delta-8 THC Feeling?

While we know that Δ8-THC is extremely similar to Δ9-THC, Δ8-THC seems to be less efficient and less potent. 

This might be a powerful advantage, especially for those looking to have a low-intensity high. 

While more research is necessary, Δ8-THC does not seem to come with the intense side effects of Δ9-THC such as making you excessively tired or extremely hungry.

With delta 8 THC having a lower psychoactive potency, there’s a potentially lower risk of inducing certain side effects of the mind that D9-THC can trigger in certain people who may be genetically prone to certain undesirable effects.

Even though Δ8-THC may not support appetite like D9-THC, delta 8 can stimulate the hypothalamus, thereby supporting a normal healthy appetite. 

Since delta 8 THC is a newer cannabinoid causing a lot of hype among experienced cannabis users, more research is necessary to firmly verify and establish other feelings and effects.

Learn more: Can You Fly With Delta 8 THC?

It must be acknowledged that research in cannabinoids is reasonably new and that their long-term effects are somewhat unforeseen for some people. 

Living in the first generation of legal high-potency cannabinoids might have some unintended consequences for people with certain predispositions. 

It is therefore crucial to consult your family doctor before you self-medicate with any new substance.

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