Pennsylvania Delta-8 THC Overview

What Is Delta-8 THC?

Delta-8 THC refers to Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol. It is one of many chemical compounds occurring naturally in Cannabis sativa plants, of which marijuana and hemp are two varieties. Delta-8 THC is also a psychoactive isomer of Delta-9 THC, the most common cannabinoid found in cannabis.

Delta-8 THC occurs in limited amounts in cannabis plants. For processors to obtain the compound, Delta-8 THC is extracted from hemp plant biomass into a concentrate. Upon concentration, Delta-8 THC may be used to create infused products, such as cannabis edibles, extracts, topicals, tinctures, vape cartridges, transdermal patches, and capsules.

Delta-8 users report certain benefits of using the compound, such as:

  • Pain relief
  • Relaxation
  • Stimulated appetite
  • Restful sleep
  • Feelings of euphoria

The side effect of Delta-8 include:

  • Anxiety
  • Dry mouth
  • Red eyes
  • Impaired coordination
  • Slowed reaction times

Is Delta-8 Legal in Pennsylvania?

Yes, Delta-8 THC products are currently legal in Pennsylvania. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp-derived Delta-8 products in the United States by allowing the cultivation, processing, sale, and consumption of hemp derivatives containing less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC. Also, HB 967, signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf on July 20, 2016, legalized all hemp compounds and derivatives, provided such plants and derived products contain no more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC. 

However, in April 2022, Senators Judith Schwank and Sharif Street issued a memorandum proposing to ban hemp-derived Delta-8 and its products in Pennsylvania. The memorandum cites a lack of regulatory oversight as the reason behind the plan to prohibit the sale and use of Delta-8 THC in the state.

Delta-8 vs Delta-9

Delta-8 THC is a more stable and less potent isomer of Delta-9 THC. It, like Delta-9 THC, is derived from cannabis. However, Delta-8 does not have the same psychoactive characteristics as Delta-9 THC. When people talk about experiencing a “high” after taking marijuana, Delta-9 THC is the compound responsible for that effect, not Delta-8 THC. Federally, cannabis-derived Delta-9 THC remains illegal, while the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp and its derivatives provided they contain no more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC.

Although Delta-8 and Delta-9 share similar chemical structures, the arrangements of their atoms vary. The variance in the atomic arrangements is responsible for differences in interaction with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body's endocannabinoid system and hence different psychoactive profiles.

Another significant distinction between Delta-8 and Delta-9 is how both compounds are processed. Due to the high concentrations of Delta-9 THC in marijuana plants, processors extract it more easily and affordably from cannabis plants. After the buds or trim of the female marijuana plant have been harvested, dried, cured, or flash frozen, the Delta-9-rich biomass is extracted using carbon dioxide (CO2), ethanol, or light hydrocarbons (propane and butane).

On the other hand, with Delta-8 THC only present in trace amounts in the cannabis plant, it requires more time and resources to extract from hemp plants. To convert CBD isolate into Delta-8 THC, a synthetic conversion procedure employing solvents, acids, and regents is required.

Although Delta-9 THC can quickly intoxicate users, Delta-8 produces a tranquil, calming effect. With Delta-8, users may also feel heightened focus, pleasure, and energy. Delta-8-THC possesses some therapeutic values due to its antiemetic, analgesic, anxiolytic, and neuroprotective benefits. The cannabinoid is also known to relieve pain and inflammation, decrease anxiety, uplift moods, and aid concentration. Delta-8 THC has also been linked to a variety of additional health benefits, including relief from depression, mood swings, cancer-related symptoms such as pain, and sleep difficulties.

Delta-8 vs Delta-10

Delta-10 is a recently discovered isomer of Delta-9 THC occurring in limited quantities in cannabis. The difference between Delta-8 and Delta-10 originates from a single carbon bond. This carbon bond is positioned on the eighth carbon ring in Delta-8 and the tenth carbon ring in Delta-10 THC. The difference in the psychotropic effects caused by the two isomers is due to the placement of this carbon bond.

Delta-8 THC and Delta-10 THC are often created by converting another cannabinoid using specific heat treatments. CBD is often utilized because of its widespread availability, although CBG may also be used to create either Delta-8 or Delta-10. Delta-8 is around 50-66% as potent as Delta-9 while Delta-10 is roughly 20-30% less potent than Delta-8. As a result, the psychoactive effects of Delta-10 are milder than those of Delta-8.

Neither Delta-8 nor Delta-10 induces significant side effects in low to moderate dosages. High doses of products derived from Delta-8 may induce anxiety, paranoia, and fear in users. They are also useful as appetite stimulants and possess anti-inflammatory and analgesic benefits.

Under the 2018 Farm Bill, Delta-8 and Delta-10 are both grouped under the definition of "industrial hemp." Consequently, these THC isomers are usually classified in the same legal category as CBD; however, exceptions may apply in some states. Some jurisdictions, for example, have recently begun to apply different restrictions to Delta-8 and Delta-10 than other hemp cannabinoids.

How Long Does Delta-8 Stay in the Body?

THC often remains in the body for 5-10 days and up to 90 days in extreme cases. Since most drug tests identify metabolites from any kind of THC, consuming Delta-8 increases the likelihood of failing a drug test. Still, the test type administered is critical in determining whether a drug test result will be positive.

Other variables, though, may impact how long Delta-8 lingers in your system. These include:

  • Frequency of Use: First-time Delta-8 THC users can expect THC metabolites to remain in their bodies for 3-4 days. Occasional users may wait up to a week for Delta-8 THC to leave their systems, while regular users may need to wait up to a month or longer
  • Potency: The higher the concentrations or potency of Delta-8 THC products used, the longer THC metabolites remain in the body
  • Method of Use: Delta-8 THC can be consumed in many ways, including vaping, smoking, and ingestion. Delta-8 THC metabolites will leave the body faster when vaped or smoked than when ingested

Other factors influencing how long Delta-8 remains in the body are age, weight, and metabolism.

Does Delta-8 Show Up on a Drug Test?

Yes. If you have not allowed enough time to pass for all trace levels of THC metabolites to leave your body, Delta-8 will show up on a drug test. While the majority of drug tests are not intended to detect Delta-8 THC specifically in the body, these tests are designed to find THC metabolites. When you consume Delta-8 THC, the liver is responsible for breaking it down into THC metabolites, which urine tests may be able to detect. Tests on the blood, saliva, and hair may also be performed in order to determine whether or not Delta-8 is present in the body.

A user's hair sample may contain traces of Delta-8 THC for up to three months after the last use. Typically, saliva drug tests are used to detect whether an individual has consumed THC on the same day of the test. However, research has also indicated that a saliva test may be able to detect Delta-8 THC in the oral fluid of the user for up to seventy-two hours after intake. Urine tests may detect Delta-8 THC use anywhere from three to thirty days following use, depending on the dosage and frequency of use. A blood test may also determine whether or not Delta-8 THC was consumed during the previous twelve hours.

Where to Buy Delta-8 in Pennsylvania

Delta-8 products are available online and through physical retail cannabis stores. Delta-8 THC products such as disposable vapes, cartridges, tinctures, flowers and pre-rolls, and edibles may be purchased from head shops, convenience stores, and vape shops.

Pennsylvania Delta-8 THC Overview