Delta 8 and delta 9 THC are not the same thing, though very similar in chemical structure which produce similar effects. Both will get you high, though delta 8 THC will produce a much milder high that many prefer over traditional THC. Delta 8 is produced synthetically by converting either CBD or delta 9 THC and turning it into delta 8.
Delta 8 produces similar effects to delta 9 THC, including negative side effects such as increased heart rate, anxiety, dizziness, paranoia, etc. The bad news is that it is highly unregulated, and because it is synthetic, you really do not know what is in it. In certain states, this causes concern for those who wish to procure legal cannabis products without the illegality.
Essentially, delta 8 is converted from other natural compounds and then sprayed back onto low quality or even CBD hemp to give it a “boost.” It is a highly controversial subject and many question whether delta 8 THC is safe to consume. Many have tried it and report only similar effects to delta 9 THC.
Both in effects and chemical structure, no, they are not at all similar. The only thing that qualifies as similar between these two compounds is that delta 8 THC can be converted from CBD. How this is done exactly is a matter of question since not much is widely known about the process. Because delta 8 produces milder effects than delta 9, some choose to treat it with less regard.
CBD is known for mitigating the negative effects of THC, which would likely include delta 8. It is well known that CBD itself does not produce a high which makes it legal to use and safe to consume. Not much is known about the safety or long-term effects of delta 8, placing it in a gray area of uncertainty.
While delta 8 THC can be naturally found in very small amounts in the cannabis plant, CBD is specifically bred to create a natural compound without chemically converting it. This is what makes delta 8 so different from other cannabinoids. It is made synthetically and used unnaturally. Compared to CBD, they are worlds apart. If you are going to try delta 8 THC, you would be wise to take some CBD first just in case you have a sensitive reaction.
It is unknown whether delta 8 THC is safe for use in the long run. What makes matters worse is that delta 8 THC is synthetically produced in a highly unregulated market, making it prone to unknown by-products and contaminants. It is unfortunate how society creates these types of problems when all that needs to be done is to legalize cannabis on the federal level.
The safety of cannabis cannot be denied, and the most dangerous thing that involves cannabis is the draconian laws that surround its usage. Delta 8 is the result of these draconian laws, potentially filling the market with an untested and unsafe product. You take a risk by choosing to indulge in this substance, since little research has been done on it.
It is highly recommended that you procure any product that claims to have delta 8 THC from a very reputable source, which in truth will be all but impossible now. Not much can be said or attested to other than the fact that delta 8 does indeed get you high, though not as high as you could get off delta 9 THC. This may or may not prove to be a good thing in the future.
The passing of the Farm Bill in 2018 allowed for the production and sale of hemp and its products, which contain less than .3% THC, on a federal level. It is a gray area assuming that delta 8 THC is legal, when in fact many states have banned its usage. Producing it is also illegal. Because it is synthetically made and unregulated, it remains in a gray area on a federal level.
With so many dispensaries and states that have regulated cannabis and its constituents, if you happen to live in any of them, ditch the delta 8 and stick with the real deal. If you want a milder high, take some CBD prior to ingesting THC, or take a strain that is less potent. The trouble is simply not worth it and leaves something to be desired when it comes to the high itself.
From a medical standpoint, delta 8 may or may not be valuable for therapeutic practices and may come to be recognized as beneficial, depending on whether it can be safely made. While it is illegal to manufacture, delta 8 itself is making the rounds for being considered a legal way to enjoy THC without the illegality, though this remains to be seen in the grand scheme of things.
Because delta 8 is made synthetically, it is unknown whether the by-products contained within will produce significant side effects, though it is highly recommended to steer clear of delta 8 until more is known about it. The exception here is if you can find a reputable vendor that specializes in delta 8.
It is also highly probable that you will test positive for THC in a urine test, since it is technically a THC cannabinoid, though structurally different. THC is metabolized in the liver and is excreted in the urine, so it is safe to say that delta 8 will act in a similar manner. In any case, it is best to avoid any cannabis products if you plan to undergo urine testing for a job.