KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- If you’ve never heard of Delta 8, you’re not alone. But you’ll likely be hearing a lot more about it soon.
Some people call Delta 8 “pot’s little brother”. It is getting a lot of attention because unlike its older brother, Delta 8 is legal in most states and even at the federal level.
Delta 8 is made from hemp and under the federal 2018 Farm Bill, cannabinoids derived from hemp fall under the rules of hemp.
Delta 9 is what people think of as traditional marijuana. There is just one atom difference between to two compounds. That one very small difference has huge ramifications. Delta 8, from hemp, is legal in most states, even if marijuana is not.
“With D8, you have the same effects of relaxation and calming but I don’t feel like my eyes are glazed over and I can’t focus,” said Crystal Lubick. She’s a budtender—meaning she works in a dispensary. She has a channel on YouTube providing education and reviews on all things cannabis.
When left in its natural state, the THC in hemp, Delta 8, is weak and almost non-existent. But scientists have been able to extract the weak THC and make it powerful.
“The hemp bill put a crack in the dam and Delta 8 is shooting through that crack and saturating places that don’t have access to traditional cannabinoids,” said David Downs, with Leafly, a cannabis website. He is talking about states like Kansas, where marijuana is outlawed, and Missouri, where it is limited to medical use.
“It’s gotten really cheap to put a bunch of hemp plants in a carbon dioxide extractor or butane extractor and pull out an oil that is 90% cannabinoids,” said Downs.
This was not what lawmakers intended when they passed the 2018 Farm Bill. And both David Downs and Crystal Lubick expect changes on the state and federal levels.
And the experts also pointed out that even if Delta 8 is within the legal loophole, those using it would likely fail a drug test.