Delta 8 – The Legal High

NOTE: Due to the stigma surrounding drug use and its legality the quotes in this article will be anonymous.

Weed, marijuana, gas, THC, kush or whatever else you may call it, is illegal. Despite being decriminalized here in Atlanta, weed is still illegal the holder  can face  consequences for its possession.

The campaign to legalize this drug is a strong one, as history has shown its illegality has been used as a tool to incarcerate people of color throughout history.

There is hope this article and its note of weed as an illegal substance will be outdated soon.  However, that is not our present day. Here lies the appeal of a different (yet incredibly similar) drug than  weed: Delta-8.

Delta-8 THC (or Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol) comes from the same cannabis plants as weed and hemp, though in small traces.

The difference between Delta-8 and weed is two molecules that slightly alter the effects. Due to these two molecule differences, Delta-8 is not weed and is legal across the country.

This has led to a spike in its sales and lacks consequence in the eyes of the law. “D8’s pretty accessible, I can get it at a hookah shop, and I feel relatively safe doing it. It’s less stressful than linking with dealers.”

However, does it get you high? Legality comes with skepticism, especially since Delta-8 is not weed.

People who use the substance describe it as a lighter high (depending on the dose), one that is more in the body and less in the mind. Users may call it calming, with less paranoia than  someone might experience from consuming weed.

“Delta 8 has been super helpful in calming anxieties and fear, both when out in public and when going to sleep … In social situations, it also keeps my thoughts more at bay, and I’m able to be more present [at]  the moment; as well as productive.”

However, Delta-8 can become incredibly intense at higher doses, becoming  close to the high one might get from weed.

“It gets me really, really gone, and there’s no level of control. It also makes me really sleepy the next morning.”

With Delta-8 being legal many will conclude that it’s safer than weed.

However, that is not the case. The main concern with Delta-8 and its products is the lack of research and information.

It’s impossible to know all the contents, and people will find impurities and high levels of THC.

Due to the lack of knowledge, New York and Colorado have restricted the market until more is known about the substance.

There are also benefits to its use, including mental health as its able to  calm nausea and anxiety in users.

The longevity of Delta-8  is up for debate. With so much unknown about the substance, many will stick with weed.

If states legalize weed, an even smaller Delta-8 market will exist. Yet with its far more mellow high and accessibility, Delta-8  has a chance to continue its growth, maintaining its popularity here on campus.