Delta-8: The New Nicotine

New Delta 8 3CHI wax products with an array of flower and shatter. Photo by Elsa Olofsson on

Did you know weed is recreationally legal in all fifty states? That’s right, all fifty states. 

It’s called Delta-8. The new, legal vaping trend. 

I know what you’re thinking. There’s no way its a natural  weed. 

Oh, but it is, and you can find it in any old smoke shop in most states.

Delta-8 and Delta-9 are both naturally occurring tetrahydrocannabinol in the cannabis plant. 

The difference between the two is that Delta-8 is a  THC compound that causes a very mild high. It differs from Delta-9 THC in that it activates different cell receptors in the human body. 

Both Delta-8 and Delta-9 bind to  CB1 and CB2 cell receptors, but while Delta-9 binds to our brain receptors, Delta-8 binds more closely to the receptors in our immune system.

Delta-9 is the most common type of weed smoked and is illegal recreationally. It is more potent than Delta-8, and most of the THC that occurs naturally in the cannabis plant is Delta-9. 

This fact makes it easier to extract than Delta-8, so it’s more commonly smoked. 

Delta-8, however, is not nearly as potent. 

For people who don’t want to experience an intense high, the milder effects of Delta-8 are very appealing.

We don’t know much about Delta 8 THC. Due to its popularity only recently increasing, little to no research about it or its possible adverse effects. 

In fact, between Dec. 1, 2020, and Feb. 28, 2022 , the FDA received 104 reports of adverse effects in patients who consumed Delta-8 THC products. 

There is already so little research about Delta-9 THC it is not shocking that this new trend of Delta-8 has even less study conducted. 

Many students at Georgia State  have picked up the habit of smoking Delta-8 vapes, as it is not as addictive as nicotine and not as strong as Delta-9. 

A Georgia State  sophomore who did not wish to  be identified said, “I really like Delta-8. It gives me a relaxed buzz, but it doesn’t make me too high. I can smoke and go about my day without feeling super stoned and unproductive.” 

Another appealing factor of Delta-8 is that it is legal. You don’t have to worry about getting caught with Delta-8 on you in Georgia, which lessens the fear and anxiety around using weed.

It’s also a cheap alternative to Delta-9. Delta-9 carts can be  pricey and come with the risk of being caught with an illegal substance. 

Although Delta-8 is a more convenient choice for many, it is also risky. With so little research done, we cannot know if it is safe to use. 

When it comes to smoking any vape, it is wisest to steer clear. Delta-8 may be enticing, but is it worth the possible health risks? 

That is up to you to decide.