Certainly, CBD is everywhere. With the market increasing daily, it seems that more and more people are becoming familiar with what cannabinoids have to offer. Along with CBD, it also includes the growing popularity of delta 8 THC products, which have had an increased interest in cannabis overall, leading many companies to find innovative ways for consumers to enjoy cannabis. While many products are available, including capsules, edibles, topicals, and vapes, one classic product that has stood the test of time is none other than the cannabis flower.
When it comes to delta 8 flower and CBD flower, you might be thinking — what’s the difference between the two?
In this article, we want to ensure you understand what they are.
What is a Flower?
For those who aren’t well-schooled, the term “flower” refers to the buds of the cannabis plant that flower during the growing process. Both plant species, hemp, and marijuana belong to the cannabis family. They also produce cannabinoid-rich flowers which are manufactured for a variety of purposes.
When you purchase flowers, you will more than likely get dried buds that either come loose or are rolled up in thin paper. There are many different ways to enjoy cannabis flowers.
So, what makes flowers supreme over other kinds of cannabis-infused products? Well, one thing is for sure, it offers consumers the purest and most raw form of cannabis on the market — meaning that it has not been altered in any way. It is believed that this makes a flower a far more bioavailable product than other delivery methods, as certain processes such as extraction, purification, and refinement can interfere with the overall effectiveness of a product. What’s even more? Flower products allow consumers to choose from various cannabis strains with varying flavors, potencies, smells, and effects.
It’s important to note that any flower will more than likely contain far more than just the leading cannabinoid of the plant. Depending on the flower, some feature various other chemical compounds such as flavonoids, terpenes, lesser-known cannabinoids, and others in the chemical composition.
Delta-8 THC vs. CBD
Aside from CBD and Delta 8 being different hemp plant chemical compounds, they also produce different outcomes.
Delta 8 is a cannabinoid in the hemp plant and has a similar molecular structure to Delta 9 THC.
Compared to delta 8, CBD is the most well-studied and abundantly cannabinoid in the hemp plant. As we said, delta 8 is made by converting it into CBD, whereas there’s no need to convert CBD in order to obtain it — it may be extracted directly from hemp and added to products. This is a huge difference between the two cannabinoids, but their effects are where the compounds truly separate.
If there are any similarities to keep note of, it’s the fact that both Delta 8 and CBD interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This is a biological framework made up of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of cannabinoid receptors (CB receptors). The work of the ECS has only one mission: to maintain homeostasis. It helps maintain and regulate a number of important bodily functions, including mood, memorizing power, sleep, appetite, and when others. When your CB receptors are muddled up, it can cause your ECS to get out of whack or internal balance.
The ECS mainly consists of two receptors, each unique in its own right and having its own functionality. The CB1 receptors are mainly found in the nervous system, helping manage pain, memory, and psychological activities. CB2 receptors have some effect on the central nervous system, but it majorly works on the immune system in the body.
Both CBD and delta 8 THC cannabinoids seem to interact with this system uniquely — reasons why so many people have sought out these cannabinoids for their wellness needs.
In a nutshell, delta-8’s effects are produced when the cannabinoid binds to CB1 receptors, similarly to Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). However, there is a different effect. While nearly identical to delta 9 THC, D8 doesn’t bind to your CB1 receptors, which would explain its mild psychoactive effect. Delta-8 also has a high affinity for CB2 receptors, but there is still more research to be conducted, as there’s little known about this interaction and its effect. CBD, on the other hand, has some binding affinity for both CB1 and CB2 receptors. However, it activates these receptors without directly binding to them, acting as somewhat of an inverse agonist of these receptors — which is the opposite of how the THC cannabinoid agonistically interacts with these receptors.
All science jargon aside, the hemp plant is incredibly versatile. Hemp is a plant species of cannabis that contains high concentrations of CBD compared to other cannabinoids. While hemp and marijuana are often confused, the main difference between the two is that marijuana plants contain high amounts of THC and little CBD. While there are many different kinds of products made using CBD, perhaps one of the most commonly used is CBD flower.
This hemp-derived product is one of the most popular ways to enjoy the experience of this cannabinoid, without the psychoactivity. You won’t feel a high from CBD flower, which is why many have looked to CBD flower mainly for medicinal purposes, not recreational. CBD flowers can be found in different strain types, including Sativa, Indica, and hybrid varieties. Each strain type offers its own effects.
In terms of cannabis law, CBD flower products have been legal on a federal level — so long as they contain no more than the mandated amount of delta 9 THC at 0.3%. This also includes any hemp-derived product. While delta 9 — the main compound found in marijuana plants known to induce a “high feeling” remains federally illegal, delta 8 is hemp-derived and therefore is legal.
When the Farm Bill was signed into law by the previous president in 2018, derivatives from hemp, such as CBD containing 0.3% Delta 9 THC or less, were legalized to be manufactured, sold, and consumed cannabis. While CBD and delta 8 are federally legal, some states have banned their sale and consumption. While the legality of hemp and cannabis as a whole lingers in the grey area, to be safe, it’s important that you check your state’s laws before any purchase.
Delta 8 Flower
So, now that we know a little about CBD flower, what is delta 8?
Similarly to CBD, delta 8 flowers can be found in Sativa, Indica, and hybrid varieties, possessing their unique set of effects. So, is delta 8 flower legal? Yes, Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, delta 8 flower cannabis is considered legal to consume.
As we said, delta-8 THC is a chemical compound in the hemp plant. Its constituents hold federally legal status so where it’s allowed, consumers may purchase Delta-8 THC without suffering any consequences, so long as it contains only trace levels of Delta-9 THC — 0.3% THC. However, like CBD, the legality of Delta-8 THC varies from state to state. Therefore, if you’d like to consume delta 8 flower or any product made with the cannabinoid for that matter, we suggest that you verify local cannabis laws before purchasing and consuming.
Though the 2018 Farm Bill federally legalized these two unique cannabinoids, it also gave states the power to decide if they want to regulate their own hemp. So far, many states are on board, and we hope for more in the future.
Which One is Better?
So, which flower is better? Ultimately, this is a subjective question, but we can offer a little more information.
Perhaps the most important difference is that delta-8 is a form of THC. If your place of work regularly tests for THC, delta 8 has the potential to cause you to fail. This is not the case for CBD. Furthermore, if it’s confiscated and examined by law enforcement, it technically will be considered THC. So, why is delta 8 able to be sold? Because of a legal loophole, delta-9 THC is regulated and still illegal and isn’t considered a classified substance. Should you take delta 8 flowers in a region of the country where either delta 8 THC or delta 9 THC has not been legalized for recreational purposes, you could get in trouble.
This has caused much confusion and legal issues for many — we understand. But by doing your research, you can stay ahead of the curve and avoid any trouble.
As we said, when it comes to which of these hemp-derived products is better, we don’t have the answer. It will mainly depend on the effects you desire to achieve. If you want to have a non-psychoactive effect, you may opt for CBD flower. But, if you want to experience the effect of THC, delta-8 THC flower might be the best choice for you out of the two.
Here at ATLRx, we want to provide you with nothing but the best. That’s why we only carry the best flowers from the best hemp farms. Try out flower today and see which one best suits your needs!