Delta-8 THC is one of more than 100 cannabinoids naturally produced by the cannabis plant, but it is not found in significant quantities in the cannabis plant. Delta-8-THC occurs naturally in cannabis material, but only in very small amounts, usually less than 1%. That means that while Delta-8 can be sourced from natural cannabis material, the method is quite ineffective and would make Delta-8 products too expensive for the general public. Delta 8 THC is a naturally occurring cannabinoid found in hemp plants.
While naturally occurring Delta 8 offers a number of health benefits, the truth is that only a small amount is present in its natural form, which means extraction is costly for many manufacturers. As previously reported by Hemp Grower, delta-8 is a cannabinoid that occurs naturally in cannabis, but usually only in small quantities. Most commonly, it becomes a Delta-9-THC or CBD (cannabidiol) laboratory. Delta 8 THC is not a synthetic cannabinoid and is found naturally in the hemp plant.
Its production process is simple and has been used for years to extract other natural cannabinoids from hemp. Delta-8 is a natural compound found in the cannabis plant. Like its famous predecessors, CBD and Delta-9, this cannabinoid has gained significant momentum in the industry. Many people use delta-8 because of its mild high and potential health benefits, regardless of their ambiguous legal status.
Because there is so little Delta 8 THC in naturally grown hemp, extraction only becomes viable if more than just Delta 8 THC can be extracted from the plant. Getting hemp with high levels of CBD or Delta 9 THC is easy in today’s growing market, but Delta 8 THC is another story. Due to the popularity of Delta 8 THC, some manufacturers now convert Delta 9 THC or CBD to Delta 8 THC in laboratory environments. Because information on THC Delta 8 was relatively low until recently, cannabis plants were not bred to express more Delta 8 THC over the years.
The chemical structure between delta-8 and delta-9 is similar, since delta-8 is only one isomer of delta-9, Brown says. Since Delta-9 breaks down into cannabinoids other than Delta-8 (such as CBN, for example), you can probably imagine that the natural amounts of Delta-8 found in hemp material are small. Overall, Sackett says he has not experienced any significant challenges in testing delta-8 on cannabis flowers or cannabis products; however, he says that the challenges related to delta-8 are the same challenges associated with any other minor cannabinoid, which is the availability of reference materials and not methods standardized. Because delta-8 is a relatively new cannabinoid on the market, the testing process isn’t always perfect, as many laboratories don’t have the right SOPs or equipment to properly separate delta-8 from delta-9, Justice says.
Delta 8 seems to combine the benefits of THC and CBD, since it’s not as potent as Delta 9 THC alone, but it still provides enough clarity and focus. The final distillate ends up being 60% to 70% delta-8 and approximately 2% to 6% delta-9, but if a company is trying to make a compliant hemp product, it needs to be below the 0.3% delta-9 THC limit, Justice says. THC refers to Delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol, and is not much different in chemical composition from Delta 8 THC.